Big 12 Women’s Basketball Power Rankings for Week 16

Heartland College Sports – An Independent Big 12 Today Blog

The Big 12 women’s basketball season is now 16 weeks old and we’re nearly at the end of the regular season and off to Kansas City.

With just two more regular-season games left, the battle to claim the regular-season title and the No. 1 seed at the Big 12 Tournament is down to its final days.

 

Below we present our 16th Big 12 women’s basketball power rankings for the 2023-24 season as we pass the midpoint of league action.

Tier One

1. Oklahoma (20-7, 14-2) – Last Week — 1

2. Texas (26-3, 13-3) – Last Week — 2

OU and Texas are playing the best basketball of any team in the league right now. The fact that the two meet on Wednesday with a share of the Big 12 lead (for Texas) or the outright Big 12 title (Oklahoma) on the line is icing on the cake.

Hats off to both coaches. OU coach Jennie Baranczyk remade her team without her three super-seniors. Texas coach Vic Schaefer had to readjust his team after losing guard Rori Harmon for the Big 12 slate. Expert coaching jobs by both.

Tier 2

3. Kansas State (23-5, 12-4) – Last Week — 3

4. Baylor (21-6, 10-6) – Last Week — 5

5. West Virginia (22-4, 11-5) – Last Week — 4

 

Kansas State has to fall at this point. I’m not saying Kansas State can’t win the Big 12 Tournament or make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. But their play the past couple of weeks has been a rung below OU and Texas. But not by much. Ayoka Lee is already working her way back into a groove. I’m confident the Wildcats will host a sub-regional and have a good chance of reaching the second weekend of the dance.

Baylor has won three straight and moves up a tier and ahead of WVU. One of Baylor’s wins came against WVU. The Bears seem to have finally emerged from that mid-conference funk and they’re playing the kind of basketball that should do well in March.

You can’t punish WVU too much for two ranked losses (to the two teams on this tier, by the way), so they remain on the second tier. But WVU’s grasp on the fourth seed at the Big 12 Tournament is tenuous. The Mountaineers need to win their last two games. Baylor has swept them and the Bears are a game back.

Tier Three

6. Iowa State (16-10, 10-6) – Last Week — 7

7. Kansas (16-11, 9-7) – Last Week — 6

One is going to the NCAA Tournament. Iowa State is in, I’m convinced of that. Kansas? The Jayhawks followed their loss to Baylor with a win over Kansas State. That will serve them well with the committee. This should be an interesting week on the tournament bubble.

Tier Four

8. TCU (18-9, 5-11) – Last Week — 11

9. BYU (15-14, 5-11) – Last Week — 8

 

10. Texas Tech (16-13, 5-11) – Last Week — 9

TCU is the only team on this tier moving in a positive direction. The Horned Frogs have won three straight have both Madison Conner and Sedona Prince back. I think it’s unlikely that the Horned Frogs will make an NCAA Tournament run. But, the forfeits from January don’t hurt their overall record and if they can sneak a couple of more wins in and reach 20, well, the WNIT will probably send an invite.

BYU has lost three straight and Texas Tech has lost seven straight. Still both could reach the WNIT if they remain .500 or better. Texas Tech went three rounds in the event last year.

Tier Five

11. Oklahoma State (13-14, 6-10) – Last Week — 12

12. Cincinnati (13-14, 5-11) – Last Week — 14

13. Houston (13-14, 4-12) – Last Week — 10

14. UCF (12-14, 3-13) – Last Week — 13

Not much to see here. These four teams will begin the offseason after the Big 12 Tournament, barring a surge in Kansas City. If any of them are .500 or better after Kansas City, there is a chance the WNIT could take them. But none of them have a favorable schedule this week.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.