Big 12 Bubble Watch: Bubble Team Salvation
[lead align=”default”]The Big 12 bubble watch suddenly looks more favorable to the conference, and all that had to happen were the top two teams losing.[/lead]
In the middle of last week, then #3 Kansas and #2 Baylor faced off at the Phog. The Jayhawks won that battle, but little did they know that both would lose the following Saturday within minutes of each other.
What came at the expense of these two title contenders losing? The enrichment of the Big 12 bubble scenario. In their losing, they gave fresh life to two bubble teams, namely Kansas State and Iowa State. Both appeared to be uncertain cases as of early February, but a few signature wins later and both are in better shape. Then, Oklahoma State did it too against West Virginia. This made for a third bubble team with an enhanced case at the expense of a top-ten team.
The Big 12 bubble watch in full:
Big 12 Bubble Watch: Tournament Locks
Kansas Jayhawks. Despite the loss to Iowa State, they’re about as safe a team as there is in the tournament running.
Baylor Bears. The Bears are taking on a little bit of water and look more like a three seed than a one. Nevertheless, unless they lose out, they won’t get anywhere near the bubble.
West Virginia Mountaineers. Yeah, West Virginia lost on Saturday, too, but they’re getting in, anyway. They, Kansas, and Baylor are playing for seeds, not bids.
Big 12 Bubble Watch: Bubble But In
Iowa State Cyclones. Iowa State improved their standing and will probably be a tournament team, but aren’t safe yet. A bad loss or two can cancel out what they accomplished at Kansas, and there’s still time for that. If the season were to end today, Iowa State would probably be somewhere near a seven seed.
Kansas State Wildcats. K-State can’t be safe, either, because while Baylor was a huge win, it was one of the few RPI Top 100 wins they have. They’d get in right now, but somewhere in the 8-10 range. Another signature win could put them over the top.
Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Pokes improved their case considerably with a win over West Virginia. Their RPI and SOS are both very good, they now have a sixth RPI Top 100 win, and just one bad loss (Texas). Oklahoma State is still on the bubble but maybe up around a 10 seed now.
TCU Horned Frogs The Horned Frogs don’t have the resume that their other Big 12 bubble frenemies have. This changed on Saturday. They don’t really have any bad losses per se, but they don’t have a lot of good wins. Their RPI is in the 40s, which is more than fine, but there’s not a lot of meat on the resume. Iowa State and K-State are now better wins, which helps. They’re not here by much.
Big 12 Bubble Watch: Bubble But Out
Big 12 Bubble Watch: Must Win Conference
Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Red Raiders were a bubble contender a month ago, but they’re drifting out of the conversation. In fact, they’re now demoted to the “must win conference” category. Texas Tech doesn’t have a good RPI or strength of schedule, and they lost to both teams below them within the past few weeks. Their overall record is nice but it’s not going to be good enough.
Oklahoma Sooners. OU hasn’t been in the mix all year. They actually have some nice wins like West Virginia and Clemson, but they’re also way under .500.
Texas Longhorns. Oklahoma and Texas running neck and neck together is a familiar sight. Unfortunately, it’s at the bottom of Big 12 basketball.