REAL Standings: The "Do Not Forsake Me" Edition

1:12 remaining in the first half in Norman. Iowa State has the ball. Fran Fraschilla urges the Cyclones to go 2 for 1.

“Can Iowa State get a shot off by 45 seconds?” he asks, adding that if it does so, it will be able to get another possession before halftime.

Gee, Fran, I don’t know. That is only 27 seconds away, almost an entire shot clock. And in the game’s first 18:48, they have probably taken a shot every 6.3 seconds?

I have tried hard all season to cut announcers some slack, ever since Son No. 1 pointed out that they have to fill a lot of time each game, much of which is spent figuratively thinking on their feet.

But some statements go beyond the pale. Pondering whether a Fred Hoiberg team can get a shot off in 27 seconds is one of them.

And then—OMG--with 6:41 remaining in the game, Brent asks, “Can these two teams get to 150 points? We will find out.”

The score is 81-64.

Yes, Brent. I think that, between them, Iowa State and Oklahoma will score another five points.

For the record, they reached it at 5:12. 84-66.

Final score: 94-83. That’s 177 points, but who’s counting?

OU wins at Home as projected.

In the stunner of the midweek games, Baylor, fresh off an impressive win at West Virginia, returned Home with a chance to set the table for the biggest regular season game in its history. Indeed, the biggest game in the Big 12 this season. A win over Okie St in Waco was all that was standing between Scott Drew and a showdown in Lawrence for a share of first place in the REAL Standings.

Then a funny thing happened. Funny as long as you’re not a Baylor fan.

Okie St coolly and methodically treated Baylor like the Bears were what hard core lifers in maximum security prisons crassly refer to as their “inferiors.”

So, instead of a high stakes High Noon showdown on Saturday at high noon, with Gary Cooper facing down Frank Miller, we have what is more like Lee Van Cleef in a three way with Clint Eastood and Eli Wallach. Lee might take out either Clint or Eli to the other’s benefit, but there is no way he is getting out of this alive.

It would have bene so much fun.

In other games, KU defeated Texas Tech, as projected, in Lubbock; West Virginia outlasted K-State, as projected, in Morgantown; and Texas, as projected, beat now 1-10 TCU in Austin.

As a result:

1. Oklahoma and Iowa St both stay within one REAL game of the Jayhawks. Like the Ugly guy, they are pulling hard for the Bad guy to take out the Good guy for them while unloading their own six-shooter into the Bad guy.

A Baylor win pulls the Cyclones (provided they take care of business versus WVU in Ames) into a flat-footed tie with the Jayhawks. And—get this—if OU defeats K-State in Manhattan, it’s First Place City for the Sooners by a half game.

2. Okie St is making a case for a late season promotion to Tier 1 status. We have always known they have three big time players in Nash, Cobbins, and Forte. But if their role players are as solid as they have shown their last three games, they might well be an upper level program. But about those five losses. . .

It is likely too little too late.

3. Baylor is renewing its case for a late season demotion. They might should be in Tier 1-A along with Okie St. But let’s see what happens this weekend.

4. The Big 12 still goes through Lawrence. The W In Lubbock was, as Paris Hilton might say, “Huuuge.”

With Lubbock in the rear view mirror, the Jayhawks need only win their remaining Home games to reach 13 wins. OU would have to finish 5-1 to match that mrk. Iowa St and West Virginia 6-1.

Put another way, one Road win, and the Jayhawks are dormie for No. 11 as long as they stay clean in AFH.

Current Tiers

Tier 1: Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia

Tier 2: K-State, Okie St, Texas

Tier 3: TCU

Tier 4: Texas Tech

REAL Standings:

1. 13.5-4.5

KU (9-2) Projected Losses: at WVU, at OU At risk games: at KSU

2. 12.5-5.5

Oklahoma (8-4) Projected Losses: at ISU At risk games: at KSU

Iowa St: (7-4) Projected Losses: N/A At risk games: at OSU, at UT, at KSU

4. 10.5-7.5

Baylor (6-5) Projected Losses: at KU, at ISU At risk games: at UT

West Virginia (7-4) Projected Losses: at ISU, at BU, at KU At risk games: at OSU

Okie St (7-5) Projected Losses: at WVU At risk games: at TCU, ISU, WVU

7. 8-10

Texas (5-6) Projected Losses: at OU, at WVU, at KU At risk games: ISU, BU

8. 7-11

K-State (5-7) Projected Losses: at BU, at UT At-risk games: OU, at TCU, KU, ISU

9. 3-15

TCU (1-10) Projected Losses: at KU, at OU, at OSU, ISU At risk games: OSU, KSU

10. 2-16

Texas Tech (2-10) Projected Losses: at UT, BU, OU, at TCU, OSU, at BU At risk games: N/A

BIG 12 SCHEDULE

Saturday

1. Baylor at KU (12:00pm)**** ( Projected W: KU)

Four chances remain for the KU Express to be derailed in Lawrence: Baylor, TCU, Texas, and WVU. But that is four chances. Well, three if you don’t count TCU. So “Roundball Games: Quest for 11” is not a done deal yet.

2. West Virginia at Iowa St (3:00pm)**** (Projected W: ISU)

Pretty much a must-win game for the Mountaineers, though it be on the Road. How else are they getting even for their loss to the Cyclones in Morgantown?

3. Okie St at TCU (5:00pm)*** (At-risk game)

Texas Tech took out Iowa St in Lubbock. Will TCU, a better team, ever take down anyone not name Texas Tech anywhere?

4. Oklahoma at K-State (7:00pm). ***1/2 (At-risk game)

Will OU avenge its loss to K-State in Norman? Not that splitting with a Tier 2 team ever truly evens things up.

5. Texas Tech at Texas (7:00pm) * (Projected W: UT)

Texas Tech at Home: Good for what ails ya. Just like K-State without Marcus Foster or TCU at Home. That’s a recipe for 3 straight W’s for anyone.

--Mark

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