The Baylor Bears moved back up to No. 1 in the Heartland College Sports Big 12 men’s basketball power rankings after Week 16 of the 2021-22 season.
Our Power Rankings will appear every Monday.
1. BAYLOR (24-5, 12-4 in Big 12) (Last Week: 3)
The Bears, despite being banged up, can still hang in there with anyone in the country. Baylor showed that in the win over Kansas. The Bears need help to earn a share of the Big 12 title (rival TCU could really help the Bears out there). But the Bears also have to win over Texas and Iowa State. To me, Adam Flagler will be the reason the Bears win and lose in March.
2. KANSAS (23-5, 12-3) (Last Week: 1)
Kansas drops a spot after the Baylor loss, which ended a four-game winning streak. Kansas has three games this week and it’s entirely possible they’ll be back in the No. 1 spot in our power rankings heading into the Big 12 Tournament. The Jayhawks have three games this week and it’s possible they could win all three, especially since the last two are in Lawrence.
3. TEXAS TECH (22-7, 11-5) (Last Week: 2)
The loss to TCU ended a four-game winning streak, but it might have come at a perfect time to remind the Red Raiders that they’re not impervious. Their schedule is perfect to set the table for the Big 12 Tournament — two games against unranked teams and scenarios that could allow them to tie for a tri-championship, depending upon what happens elsewhere.
4. TEXAS (21-8, 10-6) (Last Week: 4)
Texas is the most difficult team in this conference to figure out. This week, the Longhorns went 2-0, beating TCU at home and then squeezing by West Virginia on the road. As always, it really comes down to how Timmy Allen plays. If he’s posting great numbers, there’s something about this team that makes it harder to beat.
5. IOWA STATE (20-9, 7-9) (Last Week: 5)
The Cyclones have taken advantage of a softer schedule the past two weeks and won four games over unranked teams. Those wins have propelled them to 20 wins and into ‘lock’ status for the NCAA Tournament. There’s no way you can question ISU’s credentials now. They deserve a spot in the field.
6. TCU (18-9, 7-8 in Big 12) (Last Week: 8)
I think the Horned Frogs are in the NCAA Tournament after that win over Texas Tech. It was exactly the kind of win the Horned Frogs needed. This week is rough — TCU plays three games in six days, and two of them are against Kansas, followed by a trip to West Virginia. TCU needs to win at least one to realistically stay out of the first day of the Big 12 Tournament.
7. OKLAHOMA (15-14, 5-11) (Last Week: 9)
The win over Oklahoma State was huge for the Sooners, who are on the NCAA Tournament bubble. The games ahead are manageable — home against West Virginia and on the road at Kansas State. If the Sooners win both, they’ll stay out of Day 1 of the Big 12 Tournament and give the NCAA Tournament committee a reason to keep looking at them.
8. OKLAHOMA STATE (13-15, 6-10) (Last Week: 6)
The Bedlam loss to Oklahoma drops the Cowboys here, as they play their final two games of the season before their postseason ban ends their season. What a shame. This is a fun team to watch.
9. KANSAS STATE (14-14, 6-10) (Last Week: 7)
The Wildcats picked the wrong time to go on a three-game losing streak. Just as KSU was getting some momentum, it just went away. Sandwiched around that blowout loss to Kansas was an overtime loss to Oklahoma State and a one-point loss to Iowa State. That’s been the story of K-State’s season — win close or lose close.
10. WEST VIRGINIA (14-15, 3-13) (Last Week: 10)
The Mountaineers are now under.-500 and staring at two games against Oklahoma and TCU. Those games pivotal for the Sooners and the Horned Frogs. But, they could be for WVU, too. Think about it. Win both games, win a game in KC and, even with a loss, the Mountaineers might have a season good enough for the NIT.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.