Big 12 Women’s Basketball Power Rankings: A New No. 1
The Texas Longhorns are No. 1 in the Heartland College Sports Big 12 women’s basketball power rankings after the seventh full week of Big 12 Conference action. Our Power Rankings appear every Tuesday.
Check out Heartland College Sports for men’s and women’s basketball coverage every day, including our thoughts on big games, the previous week’s action, our weekly schedules and daily fantasy lineups as we march toward, well, March.
1. TEXAS (22-7, 13-3: Last Week — 2)
These rankings get easy when you have head-to-head matchups to lean on. On Saturday, Texas easily defeated Oklahoma to take a one-game lead in the Big 12 race with two games remaining. It was the kind of thorough domination on the road you don’t normally see in this conference. The Longhorns are in control and could clinch the No. 1 seed in Kansas City next week with just one more win.
2. OKLAHOMA (22-5, 12-4: Last Week — 1)
If Oklahoma wants to win the Big 12 Tournament, the Sooners are going to have to find a way to beat Texas. It wasn’t just that OU lost on its home court on Saturday. It was the fact that it lost with its worst offensive output of the season. The Longhorns have given opponents a template on how to slow down the Sooners. The problem is few teams can play defense as well as Texas.
3. OKLAHOMA STATE (20-8, 10-6: Last Week — 3)
The Cowgirls saw their six game-winning streak come to an end against Kansas on Sunday. That said, I’m holding Oklahoma State at No. 3 because earlier in the week it beat Iowa State at home. Like Texas and Oklahoma, I’ll lean on the head-to-head game, even though the pair are tied for third in the league standings. But, OSU’s path to the No. 3 seed in Kansas City is a bit more treacherous now.
4. IOWA STATE (18-8, 10-6: Last Week — 4)
Iowa State started the week with a loss at home to Oklahoma State, a loss that dropped it to fourth in league action. By the start of this week the Cyclones are back in a tie for third. ISU has a reasonable schedule the rest of the way, one that might allow it to sneak into third place by itself by the end of the week. But since the Cyclones fell to Oklahoma State recently, I’m keeping the Cyclones at No. 4.
5. BAYLOR (18-10, 9-7: Last Week — 6)
After a four-game losing streak, the Bears have bounced back to win two straight entering the final week of the season. If Baylor can split its two games this week, it would likely end up the No. 5 seed in Kansas City. I’m not sure how far the Bears can go in Kansas City, or in the NCAA Tournament, but this is a program with a proud tradition and a group of seniors that want to go as far as they can.
6. WEST VIRGINIA (17-10, 8-8: Last Week — 5)
The Mountaineers missed a golden opportunity on the road in Lubbock last week, falling in double overtime to a Texas Tech team that was desperate to do everything it could to get back on the NCAA Tournament bubble. The Mountaineers have two more chances this week to build their resume, but neither game is easy. They host Oklahoma State and then travel to Baylor. At worst, West Virginia needs a split.
7. KANSAS (17-10, 7-9: Last Week — 7)
The Jayhawks needed that victory it claimed against Oklahoma State on Sunday. But the Jayhawks are likely going to have to win their final two games in order to leapfrog West Virginia and get into the No. 6 seed and get out of the first two games of the Big 12 Tournament.
8. KANSAS STATE (16-13, 5-11: Last Week — 8)
The Wildcats keep winning one and losing one each week down the stretch and that’s going to keep them in line for no worse than a berth in the WNIT. Look, that’s not where the Wildcats hoped to be when the season started. But, given KSU played the entire season without center Ayoka Lee, this could end up being a solid season.
9. TEXAS TECH (17-12, 5-11: Last Week — 9)
The Lady Raiders put a serious dent in West Virginia’s NCAA Tournament chances with their win last week and pushed Baylor to the fourth quarter on Saturday. I’m not certain where the Lady Raiders fit on the NCAA bubble. But I could see them winning at least 19 games by season’s end, which would give the committee something to think about.
10. TCU (7-20, 1-16: Last Week — 10)
The Horned Frogs will be the No. 10 seed going into the Big 12 Tournament. To this point the Horned Frogs are the only team to have clinched their seed for Kansas City. This was not the plan for Raegan Pebley and her Horned Frogs going into the season.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard