Large matchups loom large as Big 12 play rolls on

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Sophomore guard Kerwin Roach Jr. drives by West Virginia senior guard Teyvon Myers on Jan. 21. The Mountaineers edged the Longhorns 74-72 in a tight contest in Austin. 

Photo Credit: Emmanuel Briseño | Daily Texan Staff

Kansas remains atop Big 12 standings

The No. 2 ranked Jayhawks (17–1, 6–0 conference) extended their winning streak to 17 after yet another close victory on Monday. Iowa State (11–6, 3–3 conference) pulled within three points after senior guard Monte Morris hit a three-pointer with 26.6 seconds left in regulation. But that’s as close as the Cyclones got. As time expired, Kansas found itself on the right side of another narrow victory, this time leaving Aimes with the 76-72 win. 

The Jayhawks will likely remain at No. 2 with their only loss coming at the hands of Indiana in the first game of the season. Since then, Kansas has gone undefeated in conference play in the midst of a 17-game win streak.

However, the streak will be challenged in the near future. Starting on Jan. 24, the Jayhawks start what is arguably one of the toughest three-game stretches in the nation. Head coach Bill Self’s squad will match up against No. 7 West Virginia, No. 5
Kentucky and No. 6 Baylor.

Baylor gets back on track after first loss of season

Baylor (17–1, 5–1 conference) was ranked No. 1 in the country for the first time in school history last week. But that lasted a little over 24 hours. 

Despite losing in Morgantown last week, the Bears managed to get right back on track. Baylor followed up the loss to West Virginia with a nine-point victory over Kansas State and a 10-point win against Texas on Tuesday night. 

Baylor is one game behind Kansas, but with two match-ups remaining between the two, a shake-up could be in store. Baylor also has one more game against West Virginia, who could once again spoil the Bears’ hopes of standing alone at the top of the Big 12. 

West Virginia rise spoiled by Sooners over Baylor

The No. 7 Mountaineers’ (15–3, 4–3 conference) victory over then-No. 1 Baylor last week had the nation believing in the West Virginia hype. That is until Oklahoma (8-9, 2-4 conference) pulled off the 89-87 upset in overtime. 

West Virginia barely escaped Austin with a 74-72 victory four days prior to the Baylor win, but it wasn’t able to avoid the upset a second time. 

Despite the loss, the Mountaineers remain in the third spot in the Big 12. But with a showdown against Kansas coming up on Jan. 24, the Mountaineers will have a shot to pull within a game of the first place Jayhawks. 

Oklahoma State remains winless in Big 12 play

The Cowboys (10–8 overall, 0–6 conference) came into Big 12 competition sitting comfortably at an impressive 10–2 record. But the Pokes haven’t won since. 

Oklahoma State is currently sitting at the bottom of the Big 12 standings and continues to look for a conference win. Many of the struggles can be put on the front end of the Cowboys’ conference schedule. Three of their first five conference losses came against No. 7 West Virginia, No. 2 Kansas and No. 6 Baylor.