There are plenty of people around the Big 12 who have been wanting to see KU sweat at least a little bit in the final weeks of the conference season. And sweat the Jayhawks will, after Iowa St’s victory in an At-risk game in Stillwater pulled the Cyclones to within a half game of the Jayhawks in the suddenly tight ultra-tight REAL Standings.
You might say, “That’s what KU gets for losing at West Virginia,” but you would be wrong. That was a projected loss. Winning would have pretty much wrapped up the race, but, for REAL Standings purposes, it was merely a matter of treading water. What hurt the Jayhawks was Iowa State’s last minute victory in a venue where KU suffered a last minute loss.
I would say, “The game is afoot,” but KU has some problems with that foot-game thing, notwithstanding their victory over—guess who—Iowa State in the fall.
In other action, Oklahoma won as projected, at Home vs. Texas; Baylor won on the Road, as projected at Texas Tech; and TCU took an At-risk victory at Home over K-State in a game that left Bruce Weber babbling like coach who had lost his team and doesn’t know where to find it. (My suggestion: Look for them in the Little Apple Monday night.
As a result:
1. The Road to the Big 12 Title still goes through Lawrence. If the Jayhawks win their last three Home games (TCU, Texas, West Virginia), they go dormie with one Road victory (at K-State or Oklahoma) or one ISU loss.
Put another way, if the Jayhawks win out, they finish 15-3, and the ceiling for everyone else (including ISU) can win more than 14 games.
2. Iowa St is in position to catch KU in the REAL Standings with a W at Texas Saturday.
3. West Virginia escapes the Turk for another day. Their performance vs. KU, despite prevailing, was not impressive, relying on an offensive rebound ratio of about 17 to 1 and a blown traveling call on the game winning layup. But, a Win over the league leader is a Win over the league leader, even at Home. Can’t be demoted for that.
4. Oklahoma hangs around. Their upcoming game in Ames could be a barn burner.
Tier 1: Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia
Tier 2: Baylor, K-State, Okie St, Texas
Tier 3: TCU
Tier 4: Texas Tech
KU (10-3) Projected Losses: at OU At risk games: at KSU
Iowa St: (9-4) Projected Losses: N/A At risk games: at UT, at KSU
Oklahoma (9-5) Projected Losses: at ISU At risk games: N/A
West Virginia (8-5) Projected Losses: at KU At risk games: at OSU, at BU
Okie St (7-7) Projected Losses: at WVU At risk games: WVU
Baylor (7-6) Projected Losses: at ISU, at UT At risk games: WVU
Texas (6-7) Projected Losses: at WVU, at KU At risk games: ISU
K-State (6-8) Projected Losses: at BU, at UT At-risk games: KU, ISU
TCU (3-10) Projected Losses: at KU, at OU, at OSU, ISU At risk games: N/A
Texas Tech (2-12) Projected Losses: OU, at TCU, OSU, at BU At risk games: N/A
BIG 12 SCHEDULE
1. Oklahoma at Texas Tech (11:00am)*( Projected W: OU)
The obligatory statement about Tech beating Iowa St in Lubbock. Followed by the obligatory statement that there is nothing more to say about this one.
2. K-State at Baylor (noon)**1/2 (Projected W: BU)
The obligatory statement about K-State sweeping OU. But that was a long time ago in a galaxy far away.
3. West Virginia at Okie St (8:00pm)**** (At-risk game)
A tale of two calls: a matchup between a team that won this week because they were not getting called for traveling at Home (which is par for the course) vs. a team that lost because they were called for traveling at Home. And that’s what the season could come down to for their two opponents.
4. Iowa St at Texas (1:00pm)**** (At-risk game)
There was a time when Texas was the pre-season favorite, and every game in Austin was a projected Win. Now, it is an At-risk game. Texas has shown some life recently, however. If Iowa St picks up this W, they are in it to Win it.
5. TCU at KU (3:00pm) ** (Projected W: KU)
TCU is beginning to resemble a Tier Two team. Which would still make this game a projected loss in Lawrence.