Saturday was a good day for those of us who tout the merits of the Big 12 Conference, a league that has been much maligned in 2010, most recently by Jason King, who termed the Big 12 a disappointment due mainly to the performance of its middle-of-the-pack teams thus far.
Well — for one day, at least — in your face, Jason. On Saturday, the Big 12 went 8-0:
- Texas A&M had the highlight win of the day, knocking off No. 22 Washington 63-62 thanks to a huge block by David Loubeau and avenging Derrick Roland in the process. The win sealed the Big 12's third consecutive triumph in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series, which currently stands at 7-4, with the Oklahoma State-Stanford game pending.
- Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas all posted solid home victories over decent mid-major opponents.
- Kansas State outlasted Loyola Chicago in a sweaty little gym full of Jacob Pullen's relatives and friends.
- Kansas dispatched Colorado State at Sprint Center and dodged a bullet when Marcus Morris' ugly-looking injury turned out to be just a turned ankle.
- Iowa State did not play Saturday, but its Friday night win at Iowa, coupled with a victory today against Texas Southern, would complete a perfect weekend for the conference.
- Baylor, Colorado and Texas Tech did not play. In the case of the massively underachieving latter, that probably was the key to an undefeated day for the Big 12.
Meanwhile, Gonzaga's freefall continued with a road loss to Notre Dame, dropping the Bulldogs to below .500 for the first time this season. Next up? Baylor. Look for LaceDarius Dunn to complete a career high in 3s in that game against the Zags' pathetically weak perimeter defense.
Also damaging to K-State's resume was a perfectly understandable, yet still disappointing, loss by UNLV at Louisville's brand-new KFC Yum! Center. It was the Runnin' Rebels' seventh straight game away from the Thomas & Mack Center, which currently is hosting national rodeo finals.
In fact, our only non-conference opponent to win yesterday was James Madison.
Expect our RPI and SOS to continue to slide, at least until we add Florida and UNLV to the ledger.
AP Ranking = 5
ESPN/USA Today Ranking = 5
Overall Record = 9-1
RPI = 24
SOS = 66
Signature Wins (RPI 1-30) = none
Quality Wins (RPI 31-100) = Virginia Tech
Bad Losses (RPI 101 or greater) = none
James Madison (7-3, 0-1 CAA) | RPI = 142: Win at Radford (78-57)
- Virginia Tech (4-4, 0-1 ACC) | RPI = 83
Presbyterian (3-6, 1-1 Big South) | RPI = 108: Loss at No. 11 Missouri (55-70)
Gonzaga (4-5) | RPI = 132: Loss at No. 23 Notre Dame (79-83)
No. 1 Duke (10-0) | RPI = 8: Win over Saint Louis (84-47)
- Texas Southern (1-6) | RPI = 191
Emporia State (6-4, 3-1 MIAA*): Loss at Central Missouri* (66-68)
- Washington State (7-1) | RPI = 115
- Alcorn State (0-8) | RPI = 243
Loyola Chicago (8-3, 0-2 Horizon League) | RPI = 195: Loss to No. 5 Kansas State (60-68)
- No. 24 Florida (7-2) | RPI = 10
- No. 19 UNLV (9-1) | RPI = 9: Loss at No. 24** Louisville (69-77 in the Billy Minardi Classic)
UMKC (5-4, 0-2 Summit League) | RPI = 280: Loss at Idaho State (57-78)
North Florida (4-5, 1-1 Atlantic Sun) | RPI = 120: Loss at No. 18 Purdue (57-77)
Savannah State (1-10) | RPI = 320: Loss at Georgia Tech (59-69)
Oklahoma State (9-1) | RPI = 61: Win over Missouri State (84-70)
- Colorado (5-3) | RPI = 196
- Texas Tech (5-5) | RPI = 198
- No. 11 Missouri (8-1) | RPI = 28: Win over Presbyterian (70-55)
Texas A&M (9-1) | RPI = 57: Win over No. 22 Washington (63-62 in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series)
- No. 9 Baylor (6-0) | RPI = 29
- No. 4 Kansas (9-0) | RPI = 4: Win over Colorado State (76-55)
Nebraska (8-2) | RPI = 110: Win over TCU (70-56)
- Iowa State (8-2) | RPI = 126
Oklahoma (5-5) | RPI = 150: Win over Oral Roberts (73-60)
- No. 25 Texas (7-2) | RPI = 47: Win over Texas State (101-65)