KU picked up no ground in the REAL Standings on its followers by defeating Oklahoma, as projected, at Home, but didn’t need to. The rest of the league is now out of games.
OU, of course, lost no ground, but maintained its position in sole possession of second place.
Meanwhile, K-State picked up half a game courtesy of its victory in Lubbock, in the process moving into a three way tie for third place with Iowa St and Texas, both of whom won as projected: Iowa St avenging its loss at West Virginia, and Texas finishing off its season sweep of Baylor at Home.
Finally, Okie St kept its post-season hopes alive with a W in Fort Worth, pretty much assuring TCU of a winless conference season.
It was fun. Now, what do we do the next three games?
Well, there is a wild four team race for second place, which could prove important for seeding purposes in both the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments.
And there are the various individual honors handed out as the season winds down.
Including Coach of the Year.
Recently, I queried Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News via twitter as to why anyone but Bill Self should be considered a candidate for Big 12 Coach of the Year. His answer: “They all had Barnes fired before the year began.”
This is true. I nominate Rick Barnes for Survivor of the Year.
But Bill Self is Coach of the Year. He lost five starters, yet clinched the Big 12 in fifteen games.
As for Barnes, he has done a nice job with the talent that didn’t jump ship, but his signature Road win is either at West Virginia or Baylor, both lower division teams. UT team has gone 7-1 at Home, but championships are not won at Home, and neither should be Coach of the Year Honors.
Now if TCU had UT’s season, I would vote for Trent Johnson. Maybe if they were 4-14. Now that would be a REAL coaching feat.
THE CURRENT REAL STANDINGS TIERS
1. Tier One: Iowa St, K-State, KU, Oklahoma, Texas
2. Tier Two: Baylor, Okie St, Texas Tech, West Virginia
3. Tier Three: TCU
THE CURRENT REAL STANDINGS:
KU (13-2) Projected L’s: N/A At-risk games: at OSU, at WVU
Oklahoma (9-6) Projected L’s: N/A At-risk games: N/A
Iowa St (10-5) Projected L’s: at K-State At Risk Games: at BU
Texas (10-5) Projected L’s: at OU At-risk games: at Tech
K-State (9-6) Projected L’s: N/A At-risk games: at OSU
W. Virginia (7-8) Projected L’s: at OU At-risk games: KU
Baylor (6- 9) Projected L’s: at KSU At-risk games: ISU
Okie St (6-9) Projected L’s: at ISU At-risk games: KU, KSU
Texas Tech (5-10) Projected L’s: at BU, at KU At-risk games: UT
TCU (0-15) Projected L’s: at WVU, at UT, OU At-risk games: N/A
All times CST
1. TCU at West Virginia (12:30p.m.) * (Projected W: WVU)
There is no such thing as a free lunch. There is, however, a free win. Eighteen of them in the Big 12.
2. Texas Tech at Baylor (12:30p.m.) ** (Projected W: BU)
Pretty much a Must Win for Baylor if they want to keep alive any hope of playing with the big boys in March as opposed to defending their NIT crown.
3. Texas at Oklahoma (3:00p.m.) ***1/2 (Projected W: OU)
A UT win here and I will listen to an argument for Barnes as COY. He will at last have a signature win. A loss for UT, and the only coach to sweep Barnes should pilfer all of Barnes’ support.
4. Iowa St at K-State (7:00p.m.)***1/2 (Projected W: K-State)
K-State’s claim to fame is being the other Big 12 team that is undefeated at Home. A win here would be a REAL feather in the Mayor’s cap in his campaign for COY.
5. KU at Okie St (8:00p.m.) **** (At risk game)
Marcus Smart. Game Day. Home Court. Desperate team on the rim of survival. Young opponent that has already wrapped up its school’s tenth straight championship. Lock of the week, right?
Not so fast, Gallagher-Iba breath. How good will the Jayhawks be in an environment in which they can play free and loose, without anything to lose, without a care in the world?
Don’t bet against the REAL Coach of the Year.