The Baylor Bears rose back up to No. 2 in the latest USA Today Top 25 Men’s Basketball poll, released March 8.
Baylor (21-1, 13-1 Big 12) won the Big 12 regular-season title last Tuesday by defeating West Virginia, and then defeated Oklahoma State and Texas Tech to polish off its first Big 12 title, along with its first conference title of any kind since 1950. The Bears will be the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 Tournament, which starts Wednesday at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City.
Six Big 12 teams remained in the Top 25, but several shifted around as the result of a three-game week to wrap up regular season play.
The big mover was Oklahoma State (18-7, 11-7) which was No. 17 last week. The Cowboys lost to Baylor last Thursday. But, in between, the Cowboys pulled off a Bedlam sweep by beating Oklahoma, and then went into Morgantown and defeated the West Virginia Mountaineers without their two best players — Cade Cunningham and Isaac Likekele. Voters decided to move the Cowboys to No. 14 this week. They will be the No. 5 seed in the Big 12 Tournament this week.
Texas (17-7, 11-6) won all three of its games last week against Iowa State, Oklahoma, and TCU. Those victories allowed the Longhorns to move up to the No. 3 seed in the Big 12 Tournament and allowed them to hold steady at No. 16.
Kansas (19-8, 12-6), which played just one game last week against UTEP because it was done with its conference schedule, moved up two spots to No. 12, even though the Jayhawks were behind UTEP most of the way in that game before claiming the win.
West Virginia (19-7, 11-6) was the big loser last week. The Mountaineers entered last week at No. 5, but fell to Baylor on Tuesday. After defeating TCU at home, the Mountaineers lost to Oklahoma State on Saturday, costing them the No. 2 seed in the Big 12 Tournament and Bob Huggins his first shot at claiming career win No. 900.
The Mountaineers fell from No. 5 to No. 9 and are now the No. 4 seed in the Big 12 Tournament. Kansas took the Mountaineers’ No. 2 seed, while Texas is the No. 3 seed.
Oklahoma (14-9, 9-8) also had a rough week, losing both of its games to Oklahoma State and Texas. The losses dropped the Sooners down to the No. 7 seed in the Big 12 Tournament, while it also dropped them from No. 15 to No. 24.
Texas Tech (17-9, 9-8) was No. 18 last week. After defeating TCU and Iowa State, the Red Raiders fell to Baylor on Sunday. Voters took that Baylor loss into consideration in moving the Red Raiders down four spots to No. 22 this week.
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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