REAL STANDINGS: THE REBOOT EDITION
With most Big 12 teams having played five of their 18 games, it is time for a REAL REAL Standings Reboot: necessitated by actual competition between conference teams as opposed to what happened in November and December.
At this point, we have:
1. Two teams that are undefeated at Home but without any Tier 1 Road Wins to validate their status:
· KU and
2. Four teams with a Home Loss BUT one or more Tier 1 Road Win to lift them up:
· K-State (W’s at Iowa State and Oklahoma)
· Iowa St (W at Texas Tech)
· Texas (W at K-State) and
· Texas Tech (W at Texas)
3. Two teams with a Home Loss and no Tier 1 Road Win, making them suspect:
4. Two teams that are going nowhere and on the fast track to getting there:
· Okie St
· West Virginia
71-64 at OU
At halftime of its Home game with West Virginia, K-State was looking like Tier 3 was in their near future, staring is second Home Loss in two tries in the face, They looked like a team that might even miss out entirely on the Big Dance.
One half and 3 games later, the Wildcats find themselves looking down at everyone else in the REAL Standings. That is what a miracle Come from Behind victory from 21 points down, the return of the pre-season Player of the Year Road, the reincarnation of Barry Brown (last week’s POW), and back to back Wins in Ames and Norman will do for you. No other visitor has won at either venue yet.
80-78 vs. UT
As widely predicted in the pre-season, the two Sunflower State teams lead the pack. The Jayhawks have no negatives on the season, but they do have a 17-point loss in Ames—which pales in comparison to K-State’s W there. On the brighter side for KU, the Hawks do have a Home Win over Texas, something K-State lacks; and, of course, the rumblings about the possible emergence of Silvio DeSousa sometime in the foreseeable future could turn the Big 12 race upside down. Until then, however, they are but one of 7 teams hoping that last second shots by the opponent don’t fall.
64-68 vs. ISU
Just when everyone was beginning to think the Red Raiders were the Big 12’s best team, they get taken down at Home. In truth, they never were head and shoulders above the rest of the Big 12, They just looked like the most consistent team They did have a nice Win in Austin, but that is it. Tied with KU and trailing K-State by a full game, they are certainly in the mix as much as anyone; but they have some work to do to atone for that Lubbock Loss to Iowa St.
98-67 vs. West Virginia
The Horned Frogs are in the same boat as KU. No negative outcomes yet but, likewise, nothing to commend their work to this point other than two REAl close calls in Lawrence and Norman. With Jaylen Fisher, they might have won both games and left the rest of the conference in their wake. Without him for the remainder of the season, they are still a contender. One of many.
Losing one Home game is devastating, perhaps fatal, in this league. It forces you to win a game you “shouldn’t.” Which the Cyclones did in Lubbock.
You should not have been surprised by UT’s game in Lawrence going down to the last shot. ICYMI, here was the REAL Standings preview of the game:
One caveat. KU better not get complacent playing this low grit, low IQ team for two reasons:
(1) UT will be on a mission for redemption. They will come focused and ready to play for 40 minutes (or more); and
(2) The Jayhawks have not shown themselves to be at the top of the basketball I.Q. ladder themselves. (Think Ames.)
The Sooners have no REAL positive outcomes. In spite of playing KU close in Lawrence (who doesn’t?), OU is a soft Tier 1 team that gets the benefit of the doubt due to Lonnie Kruger.
BU 73, Okie St 69
Scott Drew picks up a Big Road Win in Stillwater. Give credit where credit is due. What he doesn’t have is a Big Road W at a Tier 1 venue. But how is that different from OU? Why are the Bears in Tier 2 with OU looking down at them. Here is a clue: They are not coached by Lonnie, if you know what I mean.
Until/if/when Sagaba Konate returns and gives the Mountaineers a REAL inside presence, this is the worst team of Bob Huggins’ coaching career. Any team that loses to WVU anywhere is unlikely to be a serious title contender. At least until Konate returns.
CURRENT REAL STANDINGS
K-State (3-2): Projected L’s: (at UT, at KU, at TCU)
Up for Grabs: (at OSU, at BU)
KU (4-1): Projected L’s: (at UT, at KSU, at TCU, at TT, at OU)
Up for Grabs: (at OSU)
Texas Tech (4-1): Projected L’s: (at KSU, at KU, at OU, at TCU, at ISU)
Up for Grabs: (at BU, at OSU)
TCU (2-2): Projected L’s: (at KSU, at TT, at ISU, at UT)
Up for Grabs: (at BU, at OSU)
ISU (3-2): Projected L’s: (at KU, at OU, at KSU, at TCU, at UT)
Up for Grabs: (N.A)
UT (2-3): Projected L’s (at TCU, at ISU, at OU, at TT)
Up for Grabs (at BU)
OU (2-3): Projected L’s: (at UT, at TCU, at ISU, at KSU)
Up for Grabs: (at OSU, at BU)
BU (2-2): Projected L’s (at OU, at UT, at TT, at ISU, at KU, at KSU)
Up for Grabs: (TT. at WVU, TCU, KSU, OU, UT)
Okie St (2-3): Projected L’s (at ISU, at TCU, at KU, at UT, at KSU, at TT, at BU)
Up for Grabs: (OU, KSU, TT, TCU, KU)
West Virginia (0-5): Projected L’s (KU, at ISU, TT, OU, at TT, UT, at KU, KSU, at BU, TCU, at OU, ISU, at OSU)
Up for Grabs (OSU)
AS SEEN ON TV (All times CST
1, 1:00p.m. KU at West Virginia (ESPN) **** (Projected W: KU)
Fran Fraschilla and others hoping against hope this to be the Year the Jayhawks Lose the Pennant will be rooting hard for the Mountaineers Saturday. They shouldn’t. That would all but guarantee their fondest wish would come true. But it would be bad for ratings. If they are smart, They will be hoping KU stays in it until around 7:00p.m on March 10.
2. 3:00p.m.: TCU at K-State (ESPN2) ***** (Projected W: K-State)
Another opportunity for TCU to stake its claim to the inside track in the Big 12 race. Will the third time be the charm, or will it be another narrow miss a la Lawrence and Norman?
3. 5:00p.m. Texas Tech at Baylor (ESPNU) **** (Up for Grabs)
Baylor is going to damage someone’s title hopes. A Must Win for Tech.
4. 5:00p.m. Okie St at Iowa St (ESPNU) ** (Projected W: ISU)
The Cyclones just righted the ship in Lubbock. Oops! Watch out for that iceberg from Stillwater courtesy of Eskimo Joe’s!
5. 7:00p.m. Oklahoma at Texas: (LHN ****) (Projected W: UT)
With one Loss at Home already (to Tech), UT needs this game if it wants to continue enjoying its new-found Tier 1 status.