REAL STANDINGS:  THE “IT AIN’T OVER ‘TIL IT’S OVER/THE FAT LADY SINGS/WHATEVER” EDITION

            Following its Road sweep of Baylor and Texas, K-State picked up two full games in the REAL Standings and are looking down—way down—at the rest of the Big 12 with a daunting 14-4 Projected Record.

            This might be a good time to point out, however, that Projections are not Predictions. They are simply a way of showing which team is in the best position to prevail in the Big 12 race if they take care of business: i.e., by winning those games a team sporting hopes of a championship should win, It does not mean that they will win those games.

            Which takes us back to the Prime Directive of the REAL Standings: Win your damn Home Games and as Many as Possible on the Road.

            K-State is on top at the moment (meaning every other team would like their current record and remaining schedule) because they have won 5 Road games. That equates to a net of 4 Road Wins if you deduct their Home Loss in the first game of the conference season vs. Texas.

            KU, on the other hand, has 2 Road victories (Baylor and TCU) with no deductions for Home Losses. Texas Tech has 4 Road W’s (WVU, UT, OU and OSU) offset by their Home Loss to ISU. That would be a net of 3 except that 2 of those W’s were at Tier 2 venues (OU and OSU), resulting in a net equivalncy of 2 Road Wins.

            Without going through each team’s Road and Home outcomes, suffice it to say that no one is going to catch K-State unless the Wildcats incur some negative outcomes: the most likely of which would be at Home to Iowa State this Saturday or Baylor on March 2. Their games at KU and TCU are Projected Losses so losing either or both of those games will not affect their REAL Standings Record. Nor will W’s in those games help the Wildcats REAL Standings record. They would simply maintain the REAL status quo--which, at the moment, is a Projected Record of 14-4. If achieved, that record would guarantee K-State no worse than a co-championship.

            Of course, K-State could Lose to one of the Oklahoma schools at Home, or to West Virginia on the Road; but if this what you are basing your hopes on, you are the proverbial man up to his neck in quicksand without a paddle.

                                                CURRENT TIERS

                                                            TIER 1

K-STATE

Defeated Texas on the Road 71-64

K-State has gone from a team on the verge of being out of the Big 12 race after 3 games to having a stranglehold on the conference after 11. If they do not claim the title (or a share of it) at this point, it will be the most devastating failure for the school since their Overtime Loss to Texas A&M in 1998 that kept them from playing for the Pretend National Championship in football.

TEXAS TECH

Defeated Oklahoma State on the Road 78-50

Kinda like a bye in the middle of the conference race, with one added perk: picking up a half game in the REAL Standings. Their Home games vs. KU and K-State will be worth the price of admission.

KU

Defeated TCU on the Road 82-77

Suddenly, the Jayhawks are in position to make a run for No. 15. They just need to rely a little bitty bit on the kindness of Iowa St, Baylor, or some team you would never suspect going 18 for 21 from three point land on one of “those” nights.

IOWA STATE

DNP

“Help us, Obi-Wan Cyclonie. You’re our only hope.”

TCU

Lost to KU at Home 77-82 (Overtime)

Just when the Frogs were in position to make a run at K-State (after taking down ISU in Ames), they are sent directly to jail without passing GO and without collecting 200 dollars courtesy of the Jayhawks’ JV team.

BAYLOR

Defeated OU at Home 59-53.

Probably too late for the Bears to get back in the race following their loss to K-State at Home. But once they are back to full strength with Mason and McClure healthy (if that happens), they could decide who wins or ties for the title.

TEXAS

Lost to K-State at Home 64-71

UT has no games remaining with with KU and K-State, so they are not even in position to play spoiler, with the possible exception of Tech on the Road. They can start thinking about the Big 12 Post-season tourney. Shaka is better in tourneys than the regular season anyway.

                                                            TIER 2

OKLAHOMA

Lost to Baylor on the Road 53-59

OU is Booming neither Sooner nor Later.

OKIE ST

Lost to Texas Tech at Home 50-78

Excluding Bedlam, OU and Okie St are winless in their last 13 Big 12 Games (OSU 0-6, OU 0-7).

                                                            TIER 4

WEST VIRGINIA

DNP

The saying, “The other team gives scholarships, too” is being sorely tested by Bob Huggins.

                                                CURRENT REAL STANDINGS

1. 14-4

K-State (9-2): Projected L’s: (at KU, at TCU)

Up for Grabs: N.A.

2.  12-6

KU (8-4): Projected L’s: (TT)

Up for Grabs: (at OSU, at OU)

Texas Tech (8-4): Projected L’s: (at TCU, at ISU)
Up for Grabs: (at OSU)

4.  11-7

ISU (7-4): Projected L’s: (at KSU, at TCU, at UT)

Up for Grabs: N.A.

5.  10-5-7.5

TCU (5-6): Projected L’s: (at UT)

Up for Grabs: (at OSU)

6.  10-8

BU (7-4): Projected L’s (at TT, at ISU, at KU, at KSU)
Up for Grabs: (N.A.)

7. 9.5-8.5

UT (6-6): Projected L’s (at BU, at TT)
Up for Grabs (at OU)

8. 5-13

OU (3-9): Projected L’s: (at TCU, at ISU, at KSU)
Up for Grabs: (UT, KU)

9.  4-14

Okie St (2-9): Projected L’s (at UT, at KSU, at TT, at BU)
Up for Grabs: (TCU, KU)

10.  2-16

West Virginia (2-9): Projected L’s (at KU, KSU, at BU, TCU, at OU, ISU, at OSU)
Up for Grabs N.A.


                                                AS SEEN ON TV (All times CST)
Saturday

1,         11:00a.m. Oklahoma at TCU (ESPN2) **1/2 (Projected W: TCU)

            Something to watch on a Saturday morning in February. Or you could do your taxes.

2.          Noon. Oklahoma St at Texas (CBS) ** (Projected W: BU)

Something to watch on a Saturday afternoon in February. After you file your taxes on-line.  

3.         1:00p.m. Baylor at Texas Tech (ESPN) ***** (Projected W: Tech)

            Makoi Mason vs. Tech’s D in Lubbock with a lot on the line for the Red Raiders. Forget the taxes and enjoy this game.

4.         3:00p.m.  West Virginia at KU (ESPN) * (Projected W: KU)

            Unfortunately, nothing KU can do in this game will make up for blowing the game at West      Virginia. This game, however, and a bye during the next set of Mid-week games, could help a short-handed roster, including Marcus Garrett, get ready for the stretch run.

5.         3:00p.m. Iowa St at K-State (ESPN2) ******(Projected W (KSU)

            The Game of the Year in the Big 12. If Iowa State avenges its Loss to K-State in        Manhattan, there could be more GOYs to come: such as KU at Tech, K-State at Tech, K- State at KU, and Tech at ISU.

--Mark

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