Who's in and who's out?
That's the question college basketball fans are starting to ask all across the country in reference to the NCAA Tournament. For the Big 12, five teams seem like locks to make the field of 68, three have work left to do and four more are not in the conversation.
On the good side of the bubble, we have Kansas and Texas, who are both potential No. 1 seeds, and Texas A&M, Baylor and Missouri. All five should receive an invitation without much debate.
Sitting awkwardly on the bubble are Colorado, Kansas State and Oklahoma State. All three have some respectable wins, but all own losing conference records and are in need of a few late victories to boost their resumes.
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The Wildcats (38 RPI) need the least help. But without a win at Texas later this month, it can finish no better than .500 in Big 12 play. The Cowboys and Buffaloes have more wiggle room in the conference standings, but Oklahoma State (56 RPI) has more ground to make up nationally. And Colorado (93 RPI) likely needs to win four of its final five games to have a chance.
History indicates an 8-8 Big 12 record is a necessity to play in the NCAA Tournament. No Big 12 team with a losing conference record has ever earned an invitation, and only one — Texas A&M in 2008 — has received one at .500. At 9-7, though, teams have played in the NCAA Tournament 15 times.
The way things look right now, the Big 12 seems like a six-bid league at best.
GOOD PLAYER, BAD TEAM
Few are taking notice because Iowa State is the Big 12's worst team, but Diante Garrett is having a tremendous season. The senior point guard ranks fifth in the conference in scoring at 17.7 points and leads the league in assists with 5.8. Expect Garrett to receive second-team All-Big 12 honors.
There are many off-court distractions one can point to in an attempt to explain Kansas State's struggles, but there are two pretty ugly on-court issues that have hurt the Wildcats as well. They entered the week as the Big 12's worst shooting team from the field (43.1 percent) and the free-throw line (61.3).
Here's how dominant Texas has been throughout Big 12 play: Baylor received props for losing to the Longhorns by nine over the weekend. The Bears were the first team to avoid falling to Texas by more than 10 points.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Marcus Morris delivered once again for Kansas, averaging 19 points and 9.5 rebounds in two blowout victories.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Texas at Nebraska. In a down week of games, this one could be intriguing if Nebraska makes a few shots.
1. Texas (22-3, 10-0): More love here than in the national polls.
2. Kansas (24-2, 9-2): That No. 1 ranking didn't last long.
3. Texas A&M (19-5, 6-4): The front-runner for third.
4. Baylor (16-8, 6-5): Nice work playing Texas within single digits.
5. Missouri (16-10, 5-6): Need to beat Iowa State in Ames this week.
6. Colorado (16-10, 5-6): What a difference a tenth of a second makes.
7. Kansas State (17-9, 5-6): Big win. Wait, huge win.
8. Nebraska (16-8, 4-6): Potential NIT team.
9. Oklahoma State (16-8, 4-6): Looking like no NCAA Tournament this season.
10. Oklahoma (12-12, 4-6): Back to reality after a strong surge.
11. Texas Tech (11-14, 3-7): Will Pat Knight get another season?
12. Iowa State (14-11, 1-9): Cyclones will finish last.