Mar 1, 2014; Stillwater, OK, USA; Kansas Jayhawks forward Tarik Black (25) and forward Jamari Traylor (31) rebound against Oklahoma State Cowboys guard/forward Le

Big 12 men's basketball power rankings: Have Kansas Jayhawks earned a number-one seed?

Kansas had a golden opportunity to grab one of the top four seeds in the upcoming NCAA tournament, but a tough loss at Oklahoma State still has multiple pundits keeping Syracuse as a one seed. However, with the resume the Jayhawks have, do they still deserve a top seed anyway?

Mar 1, 2014; Stillwater, OK, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Markel Brown (22) celebrates with fans who stormed the court after the game against the Kansas Jayhawks at Gallagher-Iba Arena. Oklahoma State beat Kansas 72-65. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the Big 12 power rankings for the week of March 3rd, the final week of the regular season.

  1. Kansas Jayhawks (22-7, 13-3)
  2. Oklahoma Sooners (21-8, 10-6)
  3. Iowa State Cyclones (22-6, 10-6)
  4. Texas Longhorns (21-8, 10-6)
  5. Oklahoma State Cowboys (19-10, 7-9)
  6. Kansas State Wildcats (20-9, 10-6)
  7. Baylor Bears (19-10, 7-9)
  8. West Virginia Mountaineers (16-13, 8-8)
  9. Texas Tech Red Raiders (13-16, 5-11)
  10. TCU Horned Frogs (9-19, 0-16)

The Orange are in a tailspin after dropping three of their last four games. Their last two losses were against some of the other top talent in the ACC on the road, but their first loss of the season was an inexcusable loss at home to Boston College.

With the resurgence of Oklahoma State after suffering a seven-game skid in Big 12 action, Kansas still doesn’t have a bad loss on their resume. They started out conference play with a bang and led wire-to-wire, easily snagging the regular season championship after their second-to-last victory.

Similar to Syracuse’s losses at Duke and Virginia, Kansas falling at Oklahoma State shouldn’t count too much against them. The Jayhawks still retain the toughest schedule in the nation, and that should be rewarded more than the seven losses should count against them.

Yes, I know giving a team a one-seed with seven losses sounds incomprehensible, but it makes more sense when it’s broken down. The Jayhawks have lost three games in Big 12 play, all on the road against Texas, Kansas State, and Oklahoma State. Their non-conference losses were Villanova, Colorado, Florida, and San Diego State — who all have an RPI of 30 or higher.

With how much Syracuse has been struggling on offense and barely winning the majority of their games against worse teams than the Big 12 has, I don’t understand why handing Syracuse a top seed is so unanimous.

  • Iowa State falls to third after dropping a game at Kansas State, but they’re still in the race for a two-seed in the Big 12 tournament. There’s still plenty of work to do before looking ahead; both Baylor and Oklahoma State are rising fast in the power rankings.
  • It’s hard to decide who belongs more ahead — the Bears or Kansas State. The Wildcats have a better resume overall, and picked up a huge win over the Cyclones. Baylor has been surging after a bad first half of Big 12 play, but they couldn’t pull out a narrow loss at Texas.
  • Speaking of the Longhorns, they have to be fourth with losing to the top three teams in the conference. While there’s no shame in losing to them on the road, how Texas has been beaten is troubling.

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