Monday, March 19, 2018

What to watch for: Big 12 championship on the line for Mountaineers

There are no gimme’s in the Big 12 Conference, Kansas State upsetting #1 Oklahoma by 11 this past Saturday is a prime example of no guarantees in conference play. However, when it comes to the top six teams in the conference one has the most favorable remaining schedule.

Let’s take a look at the remaining schedules for each of the top six teams vying for the Big 12 regular season title.


Even though the Mountaineers potentially have the easiest remaining schedule it is the Sooners that may have the inside path to the Big 12 title. The Sooners will face the Jayhawks this Saturday in a rematch of one of the best played collegiate games of the season. Kansas won the first matchup in triple overtime. The Sooners will face the best the Big 12 has to offer moving forward. While this allows Oklahoma to control their own destiny it also proves to be a daunting task to finish the season. The Sooners are 6-1 this season against their remaining schedule. However, two of those wins (Texas and West Virginia) were decided by three points or less and the Sooners have to travel to Austin and Morgantown.

Game to watch: (see Kansas and West Virginia)

Remaining schedule:

Sat, Feb 13 #6 Kansas
Wed, Feb 17 at Texas Tech
Sat, Feb 20 at #10 WVU
Wed, Feb 24 Oklahoma State
Sat, Feb 27 at  #24 Texas
Tue, Mar 1 #21 Baylor
Sat, Mar 5 at TCU


Much like the Sooners the Jayhawks can potentially determine their own destiny but it could potentially come down to a tiebreak depending on how the Mountaineers fair the rest of the season. Their matchup this weekend against Oklahoma could go a long way for the Jayhawks who are looking for their 12th straight Big 12 regular season title. Of their remaining schedule the only team they have lost to this season is Iowa State who beat them by 13 back in January. Though undefeated at home this season, Kansas will be on the road for four of their last seven. The Jayhawks are 5-2 this season against their remaining schedule.

Game to watch: at #3 Oklahoma (Sat, Feb 13) This will be a rematch of what was possibly the best game of the year. If Kansas can complete the season sweep of the Sooners the toughest remaining game will be at Texas on Feb. 29th.

Remaining schedule:

Sat, Feb 13 at #3 Oklahoma
Mon, Feb 15 Oklahoma State
Sat, Feb 20 at Kansas State
Tue, Feb 23 at #21 Baylor
Sat, Feb 27 Texas Tech
Mon, Feb 29 at #24 Texas
Sat, Mar 5 #14 Iowa State

texas previewTexas

Like the Sooners the Longhorns control their own destiny, win out and they are Big 12 champions. However, the Longhorns road to a title is the toughest of any remaining team in contention. Much like October was for the Mountaineers in football, Texas will have to run the gauntlet of the best the Big 12 has to offer to finish the season. Texas currently sits one game back in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma, Kansas, and West Virginia. But as you can see below, they still have each of those teams remaining on the schedule. If Texas can pull of a regular season title they will have definitely earned it down the stretch. The Longhorns are 5-2 this season against their remaining schedule.

Game to watch: #10 West Virginia (Tue, Feb 16) presuming WVU wins against TCU this weekend and Texas can get past ISU this game will be pivotal for both teams. The Longhorns could potentially rid the Mountaineers of a chance at the title with a season sweep.  However, losing to WVU would put Texas at least two games back of the lead with a less than favorable schedule ahead

Remaining schedule:

Sat, Feb 13 at #14 Iowa State
Tue, Feb 16 #10 West Virginia
Sat, Feb 20 #21 Baylor
Mon, Feb 22 at Kansas State
Sat, Feb 27 #3 Oklahoma
Mon, Feb 29 #6 Kansas
Fri, Mar 4 at Oklahoma State

baylor previewBaylor

Sitting at one game back in the Big 12 standings the Bears also have a tough schedule to finish the season. Like Texas, Baylor also has the opportunity determine their own destiny. Games at Oklahoma and at Texas highlight a schedule that includes every ranked Big 12 school. The Bears currently have four losses in conference play (Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Texas). Baylor has to play every one of those schools again. Baylor is 3-4 this season against their remaining opponents.

Game to watch: Texas Tech (Sat, Feb 13) Baylor barely got past the Red Raiders less than a month ago 63-60. With remaining games against teams that have handled the Bears this season a loss at home this weekend could potentially end the Bears chances.

Remaining schedule:

Sat, Feb 13 Texas Tech
Tue, Feb 16 #14 Iowa State
Sat, Feb 20 at #24 Texas
Tue, Feb 23 #6 Kansas
Sat, Feb 27 at TCU
Tue, Mar 1 at #3 Oklahoma
Sat, Mar 5 #10 West Virginia

isuIowa State

Currently sitting two games back of the Big 12 lead the Cyclones only have an outside chance of winning the outright Big 12 title. Iowa State would have to avenge three of their five conference losses including games at West Virginia and at Baylor. The Cyclones would need some outside help to win the conference but anything is obviously possible. Iowa State is 4-3 this season against their remaining schedule.

Game to watch: vs #24 Texas (Sat, Feb 13) If Iowa State loses this game they will be fall three games back in the conference. There may be no recovering from that deficit.

Remaining schedule:

Sat, Feb 13 #24 Texas
Tue, Feb 16 at #21 Baylor
Sat, Feb 20 TCU
Mon, Feb 22 at #10 West Virginia
Sat, Feb 27 Kansas State
Mone, Feb 29 Oklahoma State
Sat, Mar 5 at #6 Kansas

wvuGoldVgerInsideWest Virginia

Make no mistake, the Mountaineers remaining schedule is not a cakewalk. But comparatively it is not as daunting as the others listed above. The Mountaineers will have to avenge losses against Texas and Oklahoma down the stretch. However, WVU will also have the luxury of playing the bottom three teams in the conference to end the season. While the rest of the contenders are going head to head the Mountaineers face the likes of Oklahoma State, TCU, and Texas Tech. Both Oklahoma and Iowa State at home favor the Mountaineers. The Longhorns in Austin is the potential pivotal game moving forward. WVU is 5-2 this season against their remaining schedule.

Game to watch: (see Texas) and #3 Oklahoma (Sat, Feb 20) If the Mountaineers and Sooners can win their next two games this matchup in Morgantown can potentially be for the Big 12 title. The first game came down to a buzzer beater in Norman. This will be the toughest remaining game for both teams.

Remaining schedule:

Sat, Feb 13 TCU
Tue, Feb 16 at #24 Texas
Sat, Feb 20 #3 Oklahoma
Mon, Feb 22 #14 Iowa State
Sat, Feb 27 Oklahoma State
Wed, Feb 2 Texas Tech
Sat, Mar 5 at #21 Baylor