Big 12 Basketball Power Rankings Before Conference Play
Big 12 Conference games begin on Saturday with a full slate of games throughout the day. Let’s take a look at WVSN’s rankings at the end of non-conference.
Kansas has shown once again they’re the best team in the Big 12. Jalen Wilson has taken that much-needed leap to help this team become a top team in the country. Freshman Gradey Dick is going to be one of those names you hear forever. Jayhawks have four quad-1 wins with their only loss to Tennessee.
Texas has already had a roller coaster of a year with the Chris Beard charges. Before that, seemed like the Longhorns could be up there with Kansas. Right now, I think they’re No. 2 and definitely could pull the usual Texas fall once conference play starts. I do think the duo of Marcus Carr and Tyrese Hunter is working.
This year’s Baylor group takes a step back from Scott Drew’s past teams. They’re missing something that Drew’s previous teams have had recently. If Baylor can keep their team healthy this go around, they should be a top-3 team in the Big 12 still.
4. WEST VIRGINIA
West Virginia has been the shock of the conference through two months. Bob Huggins has embraced the transfer portal and those guys are his top contributors. It’ll be interesting to see how Big 12 play goes, especially after how WVU started out last season. If they can take care of business at home this year they have a chance to compete at the top of the conference.
TCU has bounced back from their terrible first week of the season and has won out since. The Horned Frogs sit at 10-1 and look to make back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament. I would probably have them in my top-3 if they won more convincingly after the Northwestern State loss.
6. IOWA STATE
Iowa State hasn’t been much different this season: no offense, elite defense. Cyclones knocked off then-No. 1 North Carolina in Portland last month behind heroics from Caleb Grill. With the addition of Tre King in the middle of the year, Cyclones should be a team to watch out for in 2023.
7. KANSAS STATE
Another surprise team in the conference is Kansas State. First-year head coach Jerome Tang has done a great job at building a culture within short time. Keyontae Johnson is averaging Big 12 First-Team numbers right now and his story wouldn’t be overlooked.
8. TEXAS TECH
Texas Tech is another elite defensive group, but they have no good wins to show for it. Red Raiders are 0-2 in quality games but 10-0 in quad-4 games. They haven’t played anybody with the exception of the Maui Invitational. I expect them to give all Big 12 teams a good game, especially when they bring back Fardaws Aimaq.
Sooners have been disappointing to me. After bringing back the Groves brothers, Jalen Hill and adding Grant Sherfield, I thought this Oklahoma team could end up in the upper-half of the conference. They still have a chance but they’ve struggled at times losing to Sam Houston State and a rebuilding Villanova team. Oklahoma did have a nice win over Florida before Christmas so maybe this is the turning point.
10. OKLAHOMA STATE
Oklahoma State is looking to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time without Cade Cunningham. This season will be the first time they’re eligible for the tournament since Cunningham. Oklahoma State has the pieces to compete, but the resume is lack luster so far. All 10 teams in the Big 12 could make the NCAA Tournament… if they played in another conference. Oklahoma State is one of those teams that could get left out.