REAL STANDINGS: NO BIG DEAL EDITION

MIDWEEK ACTION IN REVIEW

First, an apology. In the last edition of the REAL Standings, I stated that Scott Drew had lost more games in Phog Allen Fieldhouse than Bill Self (9-8). It was pointed out to me later that it was actually a tie at 9-9.

But as of Wednesday night, I was correct. Self now trails Drew 9-10. So you could say I was wrong on Sunday. Or that I was ahead of my time.

Self also leads Drew in wins in Allen Fieldhouse 217-0.

As for that game’s effect on the REAL Standings, it was zero.

I do wish I had a dollar for every time I read or heard since the game that KU was in “sole possession of first place” in the Big 12. I wouldn’t retire, but I could. From Dick Vitale to the Kansas City Star to the Lawrence Journal World to the NY Times , to local and national radio commentators, to the radio interview of the Star’s Blair Kerkhoff, no one seemed to REALize that the Jayhawks had not REALly accomplished anything: they had only held their ground; they had merely avoided going backward; they had simply played Baylor in Lawrence first.

One exception to this lack of awareness was none other than Bill Self. Without citing the REAL Standings, he basically stated its premise: “If we hadn’t have won tonight, obviously, we weren’t out of the race, but we know it would’ve been more of an uphill climb.”

By winning, all the Jayhawks accomplished was to make it less of an uphill climb. There are no gimmes in the Big 12, and Baylor will be waiting their turn to play Home team in Waco on February 18. As noted in the last REAL Standings Report and demonstrated by the Bears for 39 minutes and 58.7 seconds Wednesday, this is not your father’s Baylor team: It looks like it has been coached, and it has some mental toughness. You would not want to go into Waco having to win to keep your title hopes alive. Well, now the Jayhawks don’t have to if all goes well until then.

The bottom line is that KU and Baylor remain tied atop the REAL Big 12 Standings and will continue to do so through the weekend unless KU ‘s Home Court winning streak ends at the hands of Iowa St or Baylor falls to K-State in Waco,

The most important move in the REAL Standings in the Midweek games was made by West Virginia, which picked up a half game by defeating Iowa St in an at-risk contest in Ames. As a result, the Mountaineers moved within two REAL games of KU and Baylor, with Road games remaining with both. In other words: “opportunity.”

The biggest moves were made by TCU, picking up a full game in the REAL Standings by winning a projected loss game in Overtime at K-State; and by Okie St, which won its projected loss game on a three pointer by Phil Forte in the final 10 seconds—this one week to the day OU lost to Texas on a flukey three-pointer at the buzzer. Oh, well. At least either OU or K-State will have to win when they play each other. Probably in the final second of the fourth overtime.

Texas also downed Texas Tech at Home. No change in the REAL Standings there.

         

                                                   CURRENT TIERS

Tier 1:

KU, Baylor, West Virginia

Tier 2:

Iowa St, K-State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Texas, TCU, Texas Tech,

 

CURRENT PROJECTIONS

1. 14-4

KU (8-1)

Projected L’s (at BU)

At risk games (at K-State, at Tech, at UT, at OSU)

Baylor (7-2)

Projected L’s: None

At risk games (at OSU, at Tech, at ISU, at UT)

3. 12-6

WVU (6-3) 

Projected L’s (at KU, at BU)

At risk games (at OU, at TCU)                      

4. 8.5-9.5

ISU (5-4)

Projected L’s (at KU, at UT, at K-State, at Tech, at WVU)

At risk games (vs. BU)

TCU(4-5)

Projected L’s (at BU, at ISU, at KU, at OU)

At risk games: (vs. WVU)

6. 7.5-10.5

K-State (4-5)

Projected L’s (at BU, at WVU, at UT, at OU, at TCU)

At risk games (KU)                                      

7. 7-11

Okie State (3-6) 

Projected L’s (at WVU, at TCU, at K-State, at ISU)

At risk games (vs. BU, vs. KU)

Tech (3-6)

Projected L’s (at TCU, at WVU, at OSU, at K-State)

At risk games (vs. KU, vs. BU)

9. 6-12

UT (3-6)

Projected L’s (at TCU, at OSU, at OU, at WVU, at Tech)

At risk games (vs. KU, vs. BU)

10. 5.5-12.5

OU (2-7)

     Projected L’s (at Tech, at ISU, at OSU, at BU, at KU) 

At risk games (vs. WVU)

 

                                         AS SEEN ON TV

Saturday

Texas at TCU (12 News:00p.m.) (ESPN) (Projected W: TCU)***

The Horned Frogs beat Texas in Austin to turn their season around.  The Longhorns’ chance to return the favor.        

Iowa St at KU (1:00p.m.) (ESPN) (Projected W: KU)***1/2

Just a reminder: There are no gimmes in the Big 12. Even for the top teams at    Home.                                                

K-State at Baylor (2:00p.m.) (ESPN News) (Projected W: Baylor)***1/2

Baylor has allowed Second Tier teams to play hang around at Home. And K-State is   a desperate team right now, in neeed of a signature win prior to Selection Sunday. Can they help themselves and KU at the same time? Basketball makes strange bedfellows.

Okie St at West Virginia (4:00p.m.) (ESPNU) (Projected W: WVU)***1/2

The two hottest teams in the league face each other. Okie St has won 4 straight, WVU 3. The Sooners won in Morgantown: Why not their in-state rivals?                                    

Oklahoma at Texas Tech (600p.m.) (ESPNU) (Projected W: Texas Tech)***

Not a glamorous game by any means. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.                                                         

--Mark

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