REAL Standings: Attention, Mr. Ripley. . .

MID-WEEK WRAP-UP Believe it or not, the only game of consequence in the Big 12's early games this week was Iowa St's loss at Colorado. Nothing of interest anywhere else.

KU, Okie St, OU, and k-state were projected winners. Check.

Mizzou, UT, Nebraska, and Baylor were projected loses. Check.

Was there even any reason to have played these games: other than giving the players an opportunity to expend a few calories and to make money for the schools and TV networks? Not really. Again, your loyal basketball fan gets ripped off. When will the fan catch a break? When will something exciting happen this season? When?

Fortunately, there was some suspense in Boulder. Without a projected winner-what with a Level 3 team playing at home vs. a Level 2 team-one of the two teams was necessarily going to walk away with an improved record in the REAL Standings, and one was going to take a step in the wrong direction.

As it turned out, Colorado assured itself of not going winless in conference. In fact, there is only one team still in the running for that claim to infame.

And Iowa St lost its hold on the all important fifth place slot in the conference standings, falling into an 8-8 tie with k-state. Strangely, they did not look like the same team that took KU to the edge of the cliff Saturday afternoon at Ames. They looked flat-as in flat out of Hilton Magic. Instead, they failed to overcome the Magic that is the Coors Center. Or at least what magic the 83 fans in attendance brought into play.

REAL STANDINGS AS OF JANUARY 18, 2007 .

1. 13-3

Kansas (3-0) (No projected L's; at risk games at Tech, at Baylor, at NU, at Mizzou, at k-state, at OU)

2. 11.5-4.5

Texas A&M (3-0) (projected L's at KU, at Okie St, at UT; at risk games at Tech, at NU, at OU)

3. 11-5

Oklahoma St (2-1) (projected L's at A&M, at UT at risk games: at NU, vs. OU, at Tech, at Baylor)

Texas (3-1) (projected L's at A&M, at KU; at risk games at NU, at Tech, at Baylor, at OU)

5. 8-8

Iowa St (2-2)

(projected L's at Okie St, at A&M, at UT, at k-state, at KU, at NU)

k-state (2-2) (projected L's at ISU, at UT, at KU, at NU, at Okie St; at risk games vs. KU, at CU)

7. 7-9

Texas Tech (2-1)

(projected L's at Mizzou, at OU, at Okie St, at A&M, at UT, at ISU; at risk games vs. KU, vs. A&M, vs. UT, vs. Okie St)

8. 6.5-9.5

Nebraska (0-2) (projected L's at k-state, at Mizzou, at Tech, at KU, at Baylor; at risk games vs. Okie St, vs. UT, vs. KU, vs. A&M, at CU)

9. 6-10

Mizzou (0-4) (projected L's at k-state, at ISU, at Okie St, at NU, at A&M; at risk games at CU, vs. KU)

Oklahoma (2-2)

(projected L's at Okie St, at A&M, at Baylor, at ISU, at Mizzou, at k-state; at risk games vs. Okie St, vs. A&M, vs. UT, vs. KU)

11. 5.5-10.5

Baylor (1-3)

(projected L's at OU, at UT, at ISU at Mizzou, at A&M, at Tech; at risk games vs. KU, vs. UT, vs. Okie St)

12. 2.5-13.5

Colorado (1-3)

(projected L's at NU, at KU, at Baylor, vs. Okie St, at k-state, vs. KU, at Tech, at ISU, at Mizzou; at risk games vs. Mizzou, vs. k-state, vs. NU)

UPCOMING GAMES

This Saturday's Big XII Games, with IQ (Interest Quotient) are:

1. k-state at Iowa St*** (12:30p.m.) Projected W: ISU

A monster game. k-state has a chance to virtually punch its ticket for the Big Dance by taking sole possession of fifth place. All of a sudden, the Cyclones have gone from the Big 12's most surprising team to on the verge of being a major disappointment. A MUST game for Iowa St.

2. Texas at Villanova**** (12:30p.m.)

Guaranteed to have no effect on the REAL Standings. Could be a fun one, though. The shot clock will be as relevant as a two digit scoreboard at an NHL game.

3. Baylor at Oklahoma*** (3:00p.m.) Projected W: OU

Baylor badly needs to win one of these projected loss games on the road against one of its peers if it intends to make a run at even an NIT post-season bid. For OU, as with Iowa St, a must game at home.

4. KU at Texas Tech**** (3:00p.m.) No projection--1/2 game swing for both teams.

One of KU's six remaining at risk games. As with all KU road games, the joint will be jumpin'. A chance for Tech to make a statement for the Selection Committee. Let's just hope the players decide this game, unlike the officiating fiasco in Lubbock two years ago, when Aaron Miles was called for traveling after securing the apparent game winning rebound when his eye socket mercilessly attacked a Tech fist.

5. Colorado at Nebraska* (5:00p.m.) Projected W: NU

Maybe there's a rip-snortin' poker game on ESPN. This one is not apt to show up on ESPN Classic.

6. Oklahoma St at A&M**** (7:00p.m.) Projected W: A&M

Can Okie St have anything left emotionally after going three OT's Tuesday night? Or physically? A&M hopes not, because, with upcoming games at Okie St, UT, and KU, a loss at home would be disastrous.

--Mark

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