Big XII So Tough, It's Devouring Itself
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With many calling it the best conference in America, the Big XII may have some 'splaining to do, especially after Kansas lost on the road Saturday -- Oklahoma State's been frisky of late -- and Iowa State fell two weeks ago to lowly Texas Tech.
Think the Cyclones had that on their minds Saturday?
The Jayhawks, meanwhile, are almost always on top of the conference, and it's no different this year, even after Saturday's loss to the Cowboys. At 19-4 overall and 8-2 in league, the Kansas leads Iowa State by one game with four weeks to go.
Coach Fred Hoiberg's Cyclones won the conference tournament last year, defeating Baylor in the finals after upsetting Kansas in the semi-finals. Iowa State split with Kansas this season and will need more from their bench if they expect their game to remain at a consistently high level. With players like Georges Niang, Dustin Hougue, and Monte Morris, the Cyclones are touted to advance further than their Sweet Sixteen apperance last season.
Even though West Virginia and Baylor have only five losses each, both squads have deficiencies on both sides of the ball.
Baylor spanked the Mountaineers on the road over the weekend, hoping it will serve as a springboard to ultimately get further than the Sweet Sixteen, too. The Bears already have four league losses, so they need all the momentum they can get. West Virginia coach Bob Huggins' team must now rebound against Kansas State, because Iowa State and Kansas loom after.
Oklahoma had lost four of five before winning four straight, but the Sooners already have seven overall losses, including a bad one to Creighton. Kansas State is now 12-12, so they'll have to win the conference tournament to play in March.
Oklahoma State has come on of late and played a tough schedule, but the Cowboys still have seven losses and need another signature win to make some waves. The other team in the mix, Texas , finally broke a four-game losing streak with a win over Kansas State.
Somehow, the Longhorns were ranked during the losing streak. Now, with eight losses overall and Oklahoma, Iowa State, Kansas, and Baylor on the schedule, the Longhorns have a lot of making up to do.