Big 12 News

Oklahoma Sooners Crash USA Today Top 25 at No. 14

NCAA Basketball: Kansas at Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Sooners went from unranked to No. 14 in the latest USA Today Coaches Top 25 poll, which was released Feb. 1

The rankings come on the heels of the Big 12 losing the SEC Challenge on Saturday. The poll also brought the number of ranked Big 12 teams to seven, as Oklahoma State joined the poll for the first time this season.

Oklahoma (11-4, 6-3), which wasn’t in the Top 25 last week but received 65 votes, wrapped up an incredible January by defeating then-No. 9 Alabama, 66-61. That wrapped up a month in which the Sooners went 6-2, faced six Top 10 teams, went 4-2 against those Top 10 teams and became the third team in the AP Poll era to beat four Top 10 teams in the same month in the regular season.

Four of the Sooners’ next five games are against ranked Big 12 teams, starting with Monday’s game with Texas Tech.

Baylor (16-0, 8-0 Big 12) stayed undefeated, defeating Kansas State and Auburn for the week. The Bears face Texas on Tuesday and TCU on Saturday.

Texas (11-3, 5-2) fell from No. 5 to No. 6, a one-spot drop after losing to Oklahoma by a single point. The Longhorns were without head coach Shaka Smart, who tested positive for COVID-19 and was in isolation, while three players were out due to COVID-19 protocols. The Longhorns saw their game with Kentucky canceled due to COVID-19 protocols in the Kentucky program.

 

READ MORE: HCS Men’s Basketball Starting Lineup for Jan. 31

READ MORE: HCS Big 12 Power Rankings for Feb. 1

Texas Tech (12-5, 4-4), which didn’t play the week prior, lost in a thriller to West Virginia last Monday in Morgantown, West Virginia. After the Red Raiders beat to LSU in the Big 12-SEC Challenge, they moved from No. 10 last week to No. 11 this week.

West Virginia (11-5, 4-3), as mentioned, beat Texas Tech to start the week after nearly two weeks off due to COVID-19 protocols. The Mountaineers then lost to Florida in the Big 12-SEC Challenge on Saturday. With that, West Virginia moved from No. 11 last week to No. 18 this week.

Kansas (11-5, 5-4) moved from No. 18 last week to No. 22 this week. After struggling to beat TCU in Lawrence, Kansas, on Thursday, the Jayhawks had to turn around on 48 hours’ notice to face Tennessee. The Jayhawks lost to Tennessee in the Big 12-SEC Challenge, 80-61.

Oklahoma State (10-4, 4-4), after receiving 49 votes last week, made its first appearance this season in the USA Today Top 25 poll, sliding in at No. 24. The Cowboys beat Iowa State and Arkansas in the Big 12-SEC Challenge last week.

This Week’s Big 12 Schedule (all times local)

Monday, Feb. 1

Oklahoma at Texas Tech, 8 p.m., ESPN

Tuesday, Feb. 2

Baylor at Texas, 6 p.m., ESPN

West Virginia at Iowa State, 6 p.m., ESPN+/Big 12 Now

Kansas State at Kansas, 7 p.m., ESPN+/Big 12 Now

Wednesday, Feb. 3

Oklahoma State at TCU, 8 p.m., ESPN2

Saturday, Feb. 6

Iowa State at Oklahoma, 11 a.m., ESPN2

Kansas at West Virginia, 2 p.m., TV TBD

Texas at Oklahoma State, 2 p.m., ABC

TCU at Baylor, 3 p.m., ESPN+/Big 12 Now

Texas Tech at Kansas State, 3 p.m., ESPN+/Big 12 Now

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard. Send him a tweet with your question to be included in this week’s Big 12 Basketball Mailbag, which appears each Friday during the conference season.

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