The newspaper standings say there are four teams tied for first place in the Big 12.
The REAL Standings tell a different story. The REAL story.
Which is that the Big 12 title is Oklahoma’s to lose. Like the other three teams with whom they are tied in the newspaper, the Sooners have two losses. However, in OU’s case, it is ONLY two losses after having played KU, Iowa St and Baylor on the Road. Their only remaining Road game against one of the conference’s power (Tier 1) teams is at West Virginia.
Baylor, on the other hand, has two losses with Road games remaining at West Virginia and—wait for it—the team that handled them with ease in Waco Saturday (OU).
KU has two losses with Road trips to Iowa St, Baylor, and OU yet to come.
WVU has two losses with upcoming Road trips to Iowa ST, KU, and Baylor.
And last (and) least, Iowa St has three (count ‘em, three) losses and still has to visit Baylor, West Virginia, and Allen Fieldhouse.
In other words, teams 2 through 5 in this week’s Real Standings need to spend some time on their knees praying that KU or Baylor (or both) win in Norman. Or that the Sooners get taken out by a Tier Two team in Lubbock, Manhattan or Austin. Or both.
Or everyone can hope against hope that OU screws up. Which is a possibility. As the Sooners get closer to the prize, the pressure will build. The pressure to make three pointers will build. Which is not good for a team that relies so much on the three. In Waco on Saturday, the Sooners downed Baylor by connecting on 16 of 28 three pointers.
Who wouldn’t win making 48 points on 28 shots? That’s like making 86% of your two point shots.
But what happens when they go 6 for 28?
Or are they impervious to that? They are shooting 46% as a team for the season.
At any rate, for the moment, anyway, Buddy Hield’s dream of stopping KU’s string of Big 12 championships is not only alive, but just sitting there waiting to be plucked like low hanging fruit.
In REAL Standings terms, OU picked up a full game on the rest of the field with its win in Waco. And, by dealing Baylor a Home loss, it picked up two games vs. the Bears.
Later on Saturday afternoon, West Virginia avoided falling into oblivion by ending the game on an 8-0 run for a fourpoint victory in Lubbock. Ergo, a half game pickup instead of a half game drop. Enough to mean the difference between staying in the mix for a title chase and having to turn their attention to March.
In other games, KU defeated Texas at Home as projected; Iowa State defeated TCU on the Road as projected; and K-State stomped fellow Tier 2 denizen Okie St in Manhattan as projected (the win, not the stomp).
Which raises the question: How can Okie St beat KU by 19 points on Tuesday, then lose to K-State by 16 four days later? Is it because:
(a) K-State is 35 points better than KU?
(b) The Home court is worth 17.5 points in the Big 12?
(c) Bruce Weber has finally exorcised the ghost of Bill Self?
(d) Who the hell knows—that’s why they play the games.
Projected L’s (at WVU)
At risk games (at K-State, at Tech, at UT)
Projected L’s (at WVU, at OU)
At risk games (at Okie St, at K-State, at UT)
Projected L’s (at ISU, at OU, at BU)
At risk games (at K-State, at UT)
Projected L’s (at ISU, at KU, at BU)
At risk games (at UT, at Okie St)
Projected L’s (at BU, at WVU, at KU)
At risk games (at Okie St, at Tech)
Projected L’s (at BU, at OU, at ISU at K-State, at Okie St)
At risk games (vs. WVU, Vs. BU, vs. OU, vs. KU)
Okie State (2-4):
Projected L’s (at K-State, at Tech, at KU, at OU, at ISU)
At risk games (vs. BU, vs. ISU, at TCU, vs. WVU)
Texas Tech (2-5):
Projected L’s (at OU, at UT, at BU, at OSU, at KU, at WVU)
At risk games (vs. ISU, vs, OU)
Projected L’s (at WVU, at KU, at OSU, at ISU, at Tech)
At risk games (vs. OU, vs. BU, at TCU, vs. KU)
Projected L’s (at UT, at OU, vs. KU, at WVU, at ISU, at Tech, vs. BU, at K-State, vs. OU)
At risk games: (vs. Okie St, vs. K-State)
AS SEEN ON TV
8:00p.m.: Kansas at Iowa St (ESPN) **** (Projected W: ISU)
The Jayhawks are not in desperation mode yet. A W here, and they are a half game back of Oklahoma (assuming an OU win vs. Tech) and back in the hunt for their 12th straight Big 12 title. A third straight loss on the Road, however, and you have to wonder where the all-important Road victories necessary to win a championship will come from.
6:00p.m.: Texas Tech at Oklahoma (ESPN2) *1/2 (Projected W: OU)
Tech will win this game if they make 16 of 28 three point shots.
6:00p.m.: K-State at West Virginia (ESPN3) ** (Projected W: WVU)
West Virginia defeated K-State in double overtime in the first conference game of the season for both teams. The Mountaineers better play better than they did in Morgantown last week vs. Texas, or they could be looking at its second straight Home loss to a Tier 2 team. Which might leave them with too big of a mountain to eer.
7:00p.m.: TCU at Texas (LHFN) * (Projected W: UT)
Texas left Lawrence saying, “We know we’re as good as KU.” So they have confidence.
They lost to TCU in Fort Worth. So they have motivation.
It’s like feeding the Texas Christians to the Longhorns.
8:00p.m.: Baylor at Okie St (ESPNU) ***1/2 (At risk game)
Both teams come in off humbling defeats. A victory for Baylor on the court where KU was blown out and OU was lucky to hold on will pull them back to within half a game of the Sooners at the top of the REAL Standings.