Few conferences have represented the parity of college basketball this season like the Big 12, and that parity was displayed during the conference’s five games that have been played so far this week.

Tuesday’s action included two of the four games decided by seven points or less and an unranked Texas team upsetting No.11 Oklahoma on the road by 15 points. No.7 Kansas also got a scare from Cincinnati on Monday after seeing a 12-point first-half lead disappear but pulled out a 74-69 win.

“We need to be a good rebounding team,” Kansas head coach Bill Self told the media postgame. “That’s what our ceiling is to be a real good rebounding team and an opportunistic offensive rebounding team, which we’ve actually done a decent job of. That team we played tonight is without question one of the best rebounding teams in the country. And we didn’t do a great job in that regard.”

It just goes to show that no matter how successful the record on the court, each team has its strengths and weaknesses, and anyone can get beat or have a close call on a given night.

“You’ve got to win your home games,” TCU head coach Jamie Dixon said after a home win over Houston earlier this month. “You have to win your home games in this league. … and then, you’ve got to go get some on the road.”

TCU began Big 12 play with a three-game stretch against consecutive top-10 teams in seven days. After starting with a road loss to Kansas, the Horned Frogs won back-to-back home games over Oklahoma and Houston before a couple of tough losses.

“That loss made us better,” Dixon remarked of the Kansas game. “I think how we handled it, we didn’t make excuses. We didn’t fall into the trap of everybody telling us why we lost. We made a concerned effort to do what we needed to do.”


Current Standings

Glancing at the Big 12 standings heading into Wednesday’s game between No.23 Iowa State (14-4, 3-2 in the Big 12) and Kansas State (14-4, 4-1), 13 of the conference’s 14 teams are within 2.5 games of first place, and 12 have winning overall records. Oklahoma State and West Virginia are the only two teams with fewer than 12 wins this season, yet West Virginia knocked off Kansas last week.

Add to that the fact that the two teams currently in first place (Texas Tech and Kansas State) are the No.20 team in the country and an unranked team in a conference that has boasted anywhere from six to eight ranked teams in the Top 25 polls in a given week this season.

The only team without a win in conference play is Oklahoma State, but the Cowboys have put up good fights against Baylor, TCU, and Kansas State.

There are currently seven ranked teams in the Big 12, and Texas and TCU have also spent time as ranked teams this season. The conference is immensely deep, as it has been in recent seasons, and should make for an excellent finish as the season progresses toward the conference and NCAA tournaments.


Postseason Outlook

According to ESPN’s latest bracketology analysis, which attempts to predict the NCAA Tournament field each year, 10 teams from the Big 12 are projected to make the 68-team tournament, with Texas just on the outside.

Of course, there are still almost two months left until the actual field is revealed, so the parity of the Big 12 will come into play — whether that means a team faltering down the stretch, going on a late winning streak to steal a bid, or a top team cementing itself by gutting out a challenge from a lower seed.