The Baylor Bears move up to No. 1 in the Heartland College Sports Big 12 men’s basketball power rankings After Week 3 of the 2021-22 season. Our Power Rankings will appear every Monday.
1. BAYLOR (7-0) (Last Week: 2)
The Bears won the Battle 4 Atlantis with wins over Arizona State, Virginia Commonwealth and Arizona State. Guard James Akinjo, the newcomer transfer guard, was the MVP. The Bears have more tests coming in Villanova and Oregon, but right now they look like they’re still a Top 5 national team.
2. IOWA STATE (6-0) (Last Week: 8)
The Cyclones are one of four teams in major college basketball with two wins over ranked teams. They did it at the NIT Tip-off, beating No. 25 Xavier and No. 9 Memphis. There was really no option here but to acknowledge that and move the Cyclones WAY up. This means most of the teams in the rankings fall a place, even if they won all their games. It also forces me to re-evaluate what the Cyclones’ ceiling is this season.
3. KANSAS (5-1) (Last Week: 1)
The Jayhawks lost to Dayton at the ESPN Events Invitational. Given the opponent, I can’t punish them too much here. But, as I noted in my five takes, the Jayhawks are waiting for David McCormack to get back on track. Also, Jalen Wilson isn’t back in the starting lineup yet. Bill Self appears to be sticking with Dajuan Harris Jr. for now.
4. TEXAS (4-1) (Last Week: 3)
Texas played just one game, beating Cal Baptist easily. The Longhorns have played one ranked team and are 0-1, and they won’t get a crack at another one until Seton Hall on Dec. 9. They should roll this week. They’re immensely talented, but I’m still not quite sure what to make of them just yet.
5. WEST VIRGINIA (5-1) (Last Week: 4)
I was tempted to keep West Virginia on the No. 4 line after last week, but with just one game against Eastern Kentucky, I had a hard time justifying it. The Mountaineers won that game by three, and that’s a quality win against a mid-major. WVU won’t get a crack at a ranked team until UConn on Dec. 8.
6. TEXAS TECH (6-0) (Last Week: 5)
There’s no denying the Red Raiders are playing well. But they’ve played six teams they were supposed to beat, and they beat all of them, all but one by double-digits. But we’re about to find out a lot more about the Red Raiders with a road game at Providence on Dec. 1 and a Dec. 7 game against Tennessee. Then, 11 days later, Gonzaga.
7. OKLAHOMA (5-1) (Last Week: 6)
The Sooners claimed a close win on the road at UCF, where Elijah Harkless played a role in the final outcome. The loss to Utah State now seems more curious, as head coach Porter Moser has the Sooners playing well together. The game with ranked Florida is coming this week.
8. OKLAHOMA STATE (6-1) (Last Week: 7)
It’s a shame the Cowboys aren’t eligible for the postseason, because they’re proving to be a gutty group. That win over Oral Roberts on the road was a good litmus test. An even better one is coming this week with a game against Wichita State, and then a Dec. 5 matchup with Xavier. If ISU beat the Musketeers, the Cowboys should be able to, right?
9. KANSAS STATE (3-2) (Last Week: 9)
Why are the Wildcats still No. 9 after a 1-2 week? Because the Wildcats SHOULD have lost to two ranked teams in Arkansas and Illinois and should have beaten North Dakota. The team below them lost a game they shouldn’t have lost.
10. TCU (4-1) (Last Week: 10)
The Horned Frogs fell hard to Santa Clara on the west close and were fortunate to get a split with Pepperdine at the SoCal Challenge. This is the team that has the longest way to go, and the Horned Frogs are about to hit a bumpy road with Oral Roberts, Utah, Texas A&M and Georgetown, in that order, after playing Austin Peay on Monday. This might be their spot for a bit.
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