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Big 12 Basketball Power Rankings: BYU Rising, Big East Battle Begins

Nov 27, 2023, 3:09 PM | Updated: 3:10 pm

PROVO, Utah – The Big 12 basketball power rankings experienced some shakeups this week.

BYU and Oklahoma, two teams with low expectations entering this season, are making people take notice of them. Both teams won MTEs with a pair of victories over Power Six opponents.

This week tips off the Big 12-Big East Battle. Seven games are taking place this week as Big 12 basketball looks to lay claim to being the top conference in the land.

The headliner is Kansas hosting defending National Champion UConn, who continues bulldozing through everyone outside the Big East.

Big 12 Basketball Power Rankings: Week Four Edition

Take a look at the week four Big 12 basketball power rankings.

1. Kansas (5-1, 0-0 Big 12)

Last week’s ranking: No. 1

Last Week

  • Kansas 83, Chaminade 56 (Maui Invitational)
  • Marquette 73, Kansas 59 (Maui Invitational)
  • Kansas 69, Tennessee 60 (Maui Invitational)

This Week

  • Tuesday, November 28: vs. Eastern Illinois
  • Friday, December 1: vs. UConn in Lawrence (Big 12-Big East Battle)

Kansas lost to one of the top teams in the nation, Marquette, out in Maui. The lack of additional scoring options beyond Hunter Dickinson and Kevin McCullar is somewhat concerning, but they bounced back to get a nice win over Tennessee.

2. Houston (7-0, 0-0 Big 12)

Last week’s ranking: No. 2

Last Week

  • Houston 79, Montana 44

This Week

  • Friday, December 1: Houston vs. Xavier (Big 12-Big East Battle)

It was a light week for the Coogs after winning an MTE the week before. They host Xavier in the Fertitta Center as part of the Big 12-Big East Battle.

3. Baylor (6-0, 0-0 Big 12)

Last week’s ranking: No. 3

Last Week

  • Baylor 88, Oregon State 72 (NIT Season Tip-Off)
  • Baylor 95, Florida 91 (NIT Season Tip-Off)

This Week

  • Tuesday, November 28: vs. Nicholls State
  • Saturday, December 2: vs. Northwestern State

The depth was on full display from Baylor in their NIT Tip-Off Championship. Starting guard RayJ Dennis was the Tournament MVP after scoring 24 points in the win over Florida.

4. Texas (5-1, 0-0 Big 12)

Last week’s ranking: No. 5 (Up 1)

Last Week

  • UConn 81, Texas 71 (Empire Classic)
  • Texas 86, Wyoming 63

This Week

  • Thursday, November 30: vs. Texas State

UConn jumped on Texas early in the game and the Longhorns were playing catch-up throughout in a game without center Kadin Shedrick. He returned to the lineup against Wyoming and scored 17.

5. BYU (6-0, 0-0 Big 12)

Last week’s ranking: No. 7 (Up 2)

Last Week

  • BYU 77, Arizona State 49 (Vegas Showdown)
  • BYU 95, N.C. State 86 (Vegas Showdown)

This Week

  • Friday, December 1: vs. Fresno State (Delta Center)

After winning the Vegas Showdown Championship, BYU is becoming a national storyline in college hoops. The big question in the future is the status of Fousseyni Traore. Traore left the NC State game with a hamstring injury. They will need him for their lone road non-conference game next week at Utah.

6. Oklahoma (6-0, 0-0 Big 12)

Last week’s ranking: No. 10 (Up 4)

Last Week

  • Oklahoma 79, Iowa 67 (Rady Children’s Invitational)
  • Oklahoma 72, USC 70 (Rady Children’s Invitational)

This Week

  • Thursday, November 30: vs. Arkansas Pine-Bluff

Oklahoma had quite the week in Southern California, knocking off Iowa and USC. Siena transfer point guard Javian McCollum shined, averaging 16 points and three assists in the tournament. Porter Moser appears to have turned a corner in Norman.

7. Iowa State (5-2, 0-0 Big 12)

Last week’s ranking: No. 4 (Down 3)

Last Week

  • Iowa State 68, VCU 64 (ESPN Events Invitational)
  • Virginia Tech 71, Iowa State 62 (ESPN Events Invitational)
  • Texas A&M 73, Iowa State 69 (ESPN Events Invitational)

This Week

  • Friday, December 1: at DePaul (Big 12-Big East Battle)

Tough week for the Cyclones, who are Top 25 good, but they squandered key opportunities in the ESPN Events Invitational.

8. TCU (5-0, 0-0 Big 12)

Last week’s ranking: No. 6 (Down 2)

Last Week

  • TCU 93, Alcorn State 74

This Week

  • Monday, November 27: vs. Houston Christian
  • Saturday, December 2: at Georgetown (Big 12-Big East Battle)

I’m still waiting to see this Horned Frogs team get tested. I’m unsure if Saturday against a below-average Georgetown team is where we learn more about TCU, but it’s a start.

9. Texas Tech (5-1, 0-0 Big 12)

Last week’s ranking: No. 8 (Down 1)

Last Week

  • Villanova 85, Texas Tech 69 (Battle 4 Atlantis)
  • Texas Tech 72, Northern Iowa 70 (Battle 4 Atlantis)
  • Texas Tech 73, Michigan 57 (Battle 4 Atlantis)

This Week

  • Thursday, November 30: at Butler (Big 12-Big East Battle)

After a blowout loss to Villanova, Tech bounced back with a pair of wins in the Bahamas. The big question moving forward is, where’s the bench? It seems like McCasland only has a seven-man rotation at the moment.

10. Cincinnati (5-0, 0-0 Big 12)

Last week’s ranking: No. 11 (Up 1)

Last Week

  • Cincinnati 89, Georgia Tech 54

This Week

  • Tuesday, November 28: at Howard
  • Sunday, December 3: vs. Florida Gulf Coast

Aziz Bandaogo receiving a waiver from the NCAA is a game-changer for the Bearcats. He scored eight points and grabbed nine rebounds in his debut off the bench against Georgia Tech. Meanwhile, fellow big man Viktor Lakhin knocked down 5-of-6 from three.

11. Kansas State (4-2, 0-0 Big 12)

Last week’s ranking: No. 9 (Down 2)

Last Week

  • K-State 100, Central Arkansas 56

This Week

  • Tuesday, November 28: vs. Oral Roberts
  • Saturday, December 2: vs. North Alabama

Nae’Qwan Tomlin remains suspended from K-State. Arthur Kaluma continues to be the standout K-State expected him to be, scoring 20 points against UCA. Putting K-State this low feels strange, but this league has so much depth.

12. Oklahoma State (3-3, 0-0 Big 12)

Last Week

  • Oklahoma State 96, New Orleans 68
  • Oklahoma State 92, Houston Christian 65

This Week

  • Thursday, November 30: vs. Creighton (Big 12-Big East Battle)

Good bounceback wins at home for Oklahoma State to blow out inferior opponents without their top player, Bryce Thompson, who is dealing with a leg injury.

13. UCF (4-2, 0-0 Big 12)

Last week’s ranking: No. 12 (Down 1)

Last Week

  • UCF 74, Charlotte 71 (OT, Jacksonville Classic)
  • Stetson 85, UCF 82

This Week

  • Saturday, December 2: vs. Lipscomb

It was a bad loss for the Knights at home to Stetson after winning an MTE event in Jacksonville.

14. West Virginia (3-3, 0-0 Big 12)

Last week’s ranking: No. 13 (Down 1)

Last Week

  • SMU 70, West Virginia 58 (Fort Myers Tip-Off)
  • Virginia 56, West Virginia 54 (Fort Myers Tip-Off)
  • West Virginia 62, Bellarmine 58

This Week

  • Friday, December 1: vs. St. John’s (Big 12-Big East Battle)

West Virginia is struggling on offense. They are 330th in effective field goal %. That puts them in a spot where every game, regardless of opponent, will be challenging.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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