The Big 12 has once again established itself as easily the best conference in college basketball with six teams in the top 13 of the top 25 and 1 (and only two outside the top 45 of the NET). After Iowa State defeated Kansas State 80-76 and Texas defeated Oklahoma State 89-75 late Tuesday, we have a three-way tie for league first place between UT, ISU and KSU.
Kansas, TCU and Baylor are a game behind.
Each of those six schools appears poised to win at least a portion of the Big 12 championship, although it’s worth noting that KenPom.com currently expects Texas and Iowa State to share the league title with 12-6 conference records. Those schools are No. 3 and No. 5 respectively in the CBS Sports Top 25 and 1 daily college basketball rankings updated Wednesday morning, followed by No. 6 Kansas State, No. 10 Kansas, No. 12 TCU and No. 13 Baylor. Iowa State’s jump from 11th to 5th saw Houston, Tennessee, Arizona, Kansas and Virginia all drop down a spot through no fault of their own.
An interesting fact related to Texas, Iowa State, and Kansas State being my top three ranked Big 12 schools is that all three have new or relatively new coaches. Rodney Terry only became interim coach of the Longhorns in December after sophomore coach Chris Beard was suspended – and eventually fired – after being charged with a felony in connection with an incident involving his fiancée. TJ Otzelberger is only in his second season with the Cyclones, while Jerome Tang is in his first with the Wildcats.
All three men and their collaborators prove, to varying degrees, that it no longer takes time to take a program to a better place. The combination of an always-full transfer portal, no need for a referral, and opportunities for names, pictures, and likenesses has created a world where rebuilding now often takes months, not years. To be clear, it doesn’t mean that every new coach will turn a bad thing into a good one as quickly as happened in Iowa State and Kansas State. It just means it’s undeniably possible — and that some of the first- and sophomore-year coaches begging fans for patience and time aren’t coming across as immediately as they could have been, or at least some of their peers currently are.
Top 25 and 1 rankings
State of Iowa
State of Kansas
https://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/college-basketball-rankings-texas-moves-to-no-3-iowa-state-to-no-5-as-big-12-dominates-top-25-and-1/ College basketball rankings: Texas moves up to 3rd, Iowa State to 5th while Big 12 dominates top 25 and 1