The Baylor Bears remained No. 1 in the Heartland College Sports Big 12 men’s basketball power rankings after Week 5 of the 2021-22 season. Our Power Rankings will appear every Monday.
1. BAYLOR (9-0) (Last Week: 1)
Any questions after that blowout win over Villanova? Nope? Good. The Bears are richly deserving of being No. 1 here and No. 1 in the country, which should be their place at around 11 a.m. central on Monday.
2. IOWA STATE (10-0) (Last Week: 2)
The Cyclones made another huge statement with their win over Iowa on Thursday. It was one of the most stifling defensive performances I’ve seen in quite some time, as I detailed in my takeaways from the Cyclones’ 20-point win. After defeating Jackson State on Sunday, the Cyclones should have no issue going into Big 12 play undefeated. T.J. Otzelberger is, without question, the Big 12 Coach of the non-conference season.
3. KANSAS (8-1) (Last Week: 3)
Missouri isn’t ‘Missouri’ right now but watching Kansas dismantle the Tigers on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse was illuminating. My alma mater, Stephen F. Austin, hits the Phog on Saturday. Then the Jayhawks take on Colorado on the road the following week.
4. WEST VIRGINIA (9-1) (Last Week: 5)
The Mountaineers outlasted UConn on Wednesday, giving them their first win over a ranked team this season. They’re a Marquette loss away from being undefeated. If you haven’t been paying attention, Taz Sherman is playing his way into the NBA Draft. But the inside rotation is still a work in progress.
5. TEXAS TECH (7-1) (Last Week: 7)
Texas Tech’s showing at the Jimmy V Classic against Tennessee showed progress after it fell to Providence on the road by four points the week before. The Red Raiders needed a win over a Top 25 team and holding the Vols to 52 points means the defense is still traveling in Lubbock.
6. OKLAHOMA (8-2) (Last Week: 6)
The Sooners had an interesting week. They squandered the chance to beat Butler at home. But, then the Sooners went on to a neutral site to thump a Top 15 team in Arkansas, and that gets more weight here. Elijah Harkless with a double-double (21 points, 11 rebounds) is starting really round into something. I’m quibbling, but the win would have been more impressive had it been in Fayetteville. But location is something the NCAA Tournament Committee is more interested in than me.
7. TEXAS (6-2) (Last Week: 4)
The good news? The Longhorns are a quality defensive team that can maintain that intensity for 40 minutes. The not-so-good news? The offense isn’t quite there yet. You can’t go nearly eight minutes without a point on the road, like Texas did against Seton Hall. That’s part of the reason they drop here. Plus, they’re the only Big 12 team to play a ranked team last week and lose. I think the tandem of Tre Mitchell and Timmy Allen inside works long-term for Texas.
8. TCU (8-1) (Last Week: 9)
This was an impressive week for TCU. The Horned Frogs defeated Utah at Dickie’s Arena in Fort Worth, and then followed that with a neutral-site win over Texas A&M in Houston. The Aggies are on the bubble in the most recent ESPN.com Bracketology. Those are quality wins for a Horned Frogs team that just a couple of weeks ago didn’t look great. TCU has now won five straight and have a chance to score at least one more quality win this weekend at Georgetown.
9. KANSAS STATE (6-3) (Last Week: 8)
That one-point loss to Marquette smarts. That was a big chance for the Wildcats to make a statement against a team that had already beaten one Big 12 team. The Wildcats will be busy leading up to the new year, as they have three games during the holiday, starting with a trip to Nebraska.
10. OKLAHOMA STATE (6-3) (Last Week: 10)
The Cowboys didn’t play a game this week. So we’ll leave them where they are for right now. But, the Cowboys host Cleveland State on Monday and then face Houston at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth on Saturday. The latter is a measuring stick game for the Cowboys. So is the USC game on Dec. 21 in Oklahoma City.
Note: This article was updated to note that Kansas plays Colorado next week.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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