BIG 12 OUTLOOK: 02.08.10


Big 12 Conference Standings

(updated 2.7.2010)


 

Man, if K-State and Colorado could've just closed it out in overtime, KU would be sitting there at 6-2 and this conference race really would be insane.

As it is, though, we'll just have to settle for mostly insane. K-State is looking more and more like the second-best team in the Big 12, but the surging Aggies had a resume-building week to remember and still get KU at home. I've never been more thankful to hold a head-to-head tiebreaker than the one we have over Texas A&M.

Meanwhile, Texas' slide continued and things truly will get ugly if the Longhorns can't find a way to flip the script and knock off a No. 1 themselves. Even with a win on Big Monday, Rick Barnes' team finds itself in a battle with Baylor and Missouri for the final bye. Luckily for Texas, it still has an opportunity to grab road wins in Columbia and Waco, and end that battle emphatically. But the Horns better learn to shoot free throws first...

Oklahoma continues to hang around by defending its home court very well. If the Sooners ever could figure out how to win on the road, they might be able to make a run into the upper half. Even 8-8 now looks attainable. But nothing short of a Big 12 Tournament championship will get them into the NCAA Tournament.

Conversely, Oklahoma State looks more and more like an NIT team. The computer numbers remain gaudy, just like last season, but where are the quality wins? Other than the one we handed to them, there aren't any. Without James Anderson, the Cowboys would be very, very average.

Kudos to Texas Tech for getting some revenge for the Big 12 season-opening loss in Stillwater, but the Red Raiders better enjoy it while they can. There aren't many wins left on the schedule.

And I have nothing to say about the Northtards, except that it sure is nice to get to play them all twice — especially when it doesn't affect our tourney profile at all.

Seed* Record* Tourney* RPI Pomeroy Sagarin Streak Best Win** Worst Loss** Coach
Kansas 1 16-0 NCAA 1 1 1 W-8 Kansas State Tennessee Bill Self
Kansas State 2 12-4 NCAA 8 8 7 W-2 Texas Missouri Frank Martin
Baylor 3 12-4 NCAA 28 15 15 L-1 Texas Colorado Scott Drew
Missouri 4 10-6 NCAA 47 13 17 W-1 Kansas State Oral Roberts Mike Anderson
Texas 5 10-6 NCAA 21 12 11 L-1 Michigan State Oklahoma Rick Barnes
Texas A&M 6 9-7 NCAA 22 37 28 W-3 Baylor Washington Mark Turgeon
Oklahoma State 7 6-10 NIT 41 62 49 L-3 Kansas State Oklahoma Travis Ford
Colorado 8 5-11 None 149 89 102 L-3 Baylor Oregon State Jeff Bzdelik
Oklahoma 9 5-11 None 76 90 83 W-1 Texas San Diego Jeff Capel
Texas Tech 10 4-12 NIT 32 82 67 W-1 Oklahoma State Missouri Pat Knight
Iowa State 11 4-12 None 114 87 80 L-2 Saint Louis Oklahoma Greg McDermott
Nebraska 12 3-13 None 127 86 93 L-2 Tulsa Colorado Doc Sadler

Note: As any of these numbers change, I will bold and color-code them to indicate direction of change.
Team names that are colored indicate a change in seed.
(green = upward, red = downward)

*Predicted
**According to RealTimeRPI

 

Discussion

Flipping and flopping were the story this week.

Baylor's loss caused it to switch places with K-State, which holds the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Texas' loss caused it to switch places with Missouri, which holds the projected tiebreaker.

And Oklahoma's win caused it to switch places with Texas Tech, which, despite winning a big game in its own right, still is predicted to finish a game back of the Sooners.

Texas A&M is the hottest team in the conference not named Kansas, and I think now we safely can say the Aggies are a solid lock for the tournament. For this, Mark Turgeon deserves some accolades, given the adversity that struck his team in December. Again, no program other than KU has been more consistent the past five years than aTm.

The mirror image of that is Oklahoma State, though. Since the Cowboys' win over the Aggies in Stillwater, the two teams followed starkly different paths: Texas A&M is on a three-game winning streak, while oSu has dropped three straight. Something tells me the rematch will have a distinctly maroon flavor. You might recall that I have been lukewarm on Travis Ford's bunch for a while, so now that they're looking very NIT-ish at this juncture, I'd like to say, "I told you so."

Of course, that just makes it even more embarrassing that K-State lost to them. But cheer up — the latest spin of the bracket generator has the Wildcats facing the winner of Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, so revenge could be in our near future.

That said, the subsequent game could be against Baylor or Texas A&M, which along with Texas are three programs I'd prefer not to face again if we can help it.

Missouri stemmed the bleeding from its first home loss in 2.5 years with another road win, so it picked up a W in the win column and looks to be in very good shape for the NCAA Tournament.

Colorado, despite its recent slide, still looks to be in very good shape seed-wise if the Buffaloes just can maintain their mental focus and not start to fall apart as the losses pile up in the near term.

Iowa State and Nebraska are struggling. Kansas is really good lucky good at manufacturing its own luck. Not much more to say about them.

It's funny how the projected standings look a lot like last year's, though. K-State switched places with Missouri and Baylor switched places with Oklahoma, but other than that, it's eerily similar. Well, I guess Colorado switched places with Nebraska, too, but bad still is bad, so that really doesn't represent a distinct alteration.

GAMER: No change.

Pomeroy: No change.

Sagarin: Now has Baylor losing at Oklahoma State, Texas losing at Missouri and at Texas A&M, and Colorado losing to Texas Tech.

 

Self-Evaluation

Yeah, I told you four road teams weren't going to win. For a while there, it looked like only one would.

In my defense, Sagarin picked Texas A&M to win, so it wasn't a total washout. The amazing thing is that both GAMER and Pomeroy still have Baylor winning out, even after the Bears dropped a game both models had them winning. I just don't see it. The smart money is on Baylor losing a few more — it still has to visit Lubbock, Norman and Stillwater, as well as play rematches against Texas and Texas A&M in Waco.

And on paper, Texas should have rocked Oklahoma, but "on paper" doesn't account for the mental issues the Longhorns are having. They completely lack confidence in themselves, especially at the free-throw line, and when you factor in that OU always plays its best game of the season at home against Texas and add in the Wayman Tisdale factor, that outcome was obvious in retrospect.

I definitely like Missouri and Oklahoma at home this week, and Baylor is so much more talented than Nebraska that it would take a Herculean effort by the Huskers (and a truly poor one by the Bears) for that to go the other way.

The big tossup, of course, is Big Monday. On paper, the computers agree that Kansas is the better team, but both teams have played like crap in their last few games. It all depends on which Texas shows up. If the Longhorns have any pride left and can find their shooting touch again, and the crowd bothers to make any noise at all, the home team can pull this one out. Indeed, that outcome would not surprise me at all.

But I've learned not to bet against Bill Self. KU plays its best basketball under the lights, and they don't get much brighter than Big Monday against the other "big money" team in the conference. Until KU loses a conference game, it would be dumb to pick against the Jayhawks.

(There. Hopefully, I just jinxed the shit out of them. Texas Fight!)

Cumulative pick record: 39-11 (.780)

 

Key

Results are plugged into this wonderful tool to generate the predicted records and seed order. Winners are predicted by a best-of-three system comprising three statistical prediction models:

Predicted Outcomes

01.09
4-1 (.800)
60 Oklahoma
91 Baylor
86 Colorado
103 Texas
68 K-State
74 Missouri
53 Nebraska
64 A&M
52 Tech
81 O-State
01.11-01.13
4-2 (.667)
57 O-State
62 Oklahoma (OT)
71 Baylor
78 Colorado
65 A&M
88 K-State
90 Texas
83 I-State
94 Missouri
89 Tech (OT)
84 Kansas
72 Nebraska
01.16
4-2 (.667)
70 O-State
83 Baylor
87 K-State
81 Colorado
63 Tech
89 Kansas
61 Missouri
66 Oklahoma
56 I-State
53 Nebraska
67 A&M
72 Texas (OT)
01.18-01.20
5-0 (1.000)
62 Texas
71 K-State
62 Oklahoma
65 A&M
78 Colorado
90 O-State
71 I-State
78 Tech
75 Baylor
81 Kansas
01.23
4-1 (.800)
63 Colorado
67 A&M
84 Kansas
61 I-State
73 O-State
69 K-State
53 Nebraska
70 Missouri
65 Oklahoma
75 Tech
01.25-01.27
5-1 (.833)
65 Missouri
84 Kansas
76 K-State
74 Baylor
60 Nebraska
72 Colorado
84 I-State
89 Oklahoma
69 A&M
76 O-State
83 Tech
95 Texas
01.30
5-1 (.833)
63 Colorado
64 I-State
81 Kansas
79 K-State (OT)
80 O-State
95 Missouri
46 Oklahoma
63 Nebraska
70 Tech
85 A&M
80 Baylor
77 Texas (OT)
02.01-02.03
4-1 (.800)
72 Texas
60 O-State
76 K-State
57 Nebraska
72 Kansas
66 Colorado (OT)
63 I-State
84 Baylor
77 A&M
74 Missouri
02.06
4-2 (.667)
84 Missouri
66 Colorado
79 K-State
75 I-State
64 Nebraska
75 Kansas
71 Texas
80 Oklahoma
71 Baylor
78 A&M
74 O-State
81 Tech
02.08-02.10
Kansas (PS)
@ Texas (G)
Tech
@ Oklahoma (GPS)
I-State
@ Missouri (GPS)
Baylor (GPS)
@ Nebraska
02.13
Colorado
@ K-State (GPS)
I-State
@ Kansas (GPS)
Missouri
@ Baylor (GPS)
Nebraska
@ Texas (GPS)
Oklahoma
@ O-State (GPS)
A&M (P)
@ Tech (GS)
02.15-02.17
Kansas (GPS)
@ A&M
Tech
@ Baylor (GPS)
Oklahoma
@ Colorado (GPS)
O-State (G)
@ I-State (PS)
Nebraska
@ K-State (GPS)
Texas (G)
@ Missouri (PS)
02.20
A&M (GPS)
@ I-State
K-State (GPS)
@ Oklahoma
Colorado
@ Kansas (GPS)
Missouri (GPS)
@ Nebraska
Baylor (GP)
@ O-State (S)
Texas (GPS)
@ Tech
02.22-02.24
Oklahoma
@ Kansas (GPS)
K-State (GPS)
@ Tech
A&M
@ Baylor (GPS)
Nebraska
@ I-State (GPS)
Colorado
@ Missouri (GPS)
O-State
@ Texas (GPS)
02.27
I-State (G)
@ Colorado (PS)
Missouri
@ K-State (GPS)
Kansas (GPS)
@ O-State
Tech
@ Nebraska (GPS)
Baylor (GPS)
@ Oklahoma
Texas (GP)
@ A&M (S)
03.01-03.03
Oklahoma
@ Texas (GPS)
Missouri (GPS)
@ I-State
Colorado
@ Nebraska (GPS)
Baylor (GPS)
@ Tech
K-State
@ Kansas (GPS)
O-State
@ A&M (GPS)
03.06
Texas
@ Baylor (GPS)
Tech (S)
@ Colorado (GP)
I-State
@ K-State (GPS)
Kansas (GPS)
@ Missouri
Nebraska
@ O-State (GPS)
A&M (GPS)
@ Oklahoma
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