Big 12

Big 12 Basketball: The Best and Worst of 2013-14 So Far

Oklahoma State, Kansas not alone in race for Big 12 title
Big 12 Basketball: The Best and Worst of 2013-14 So Far

Could there be room for a third or fourth team in the two-team race for the Big 12 title?

The return of Marcus Smart to Oklahoma State and the arrival of Andrew Wiggins at Kansas appeared to set up those two programs atop the Big 12 this season.

One thing is clear in the Big 12 so far: It won’t be that easy. Fred Hoiberg is again working his magic at Iowa State where transfers and an up-tempo offense have the Cyclones undefeated. After a win over Kentucky, Baylor is back on the upswing after an NIT appearance last season.

More Stories:

College Basketball: 2013-14 Big 12 Preview

Smart, Wiggins decisions set up two-team race
College Basketball: 2013-14 Big 12 Preview

Two key announcements turned the fortunes for the Big 12. First, sophomore Marcus Smart elected to return to Oklahoma State even though he could have been a top pick. And just as the Cowboys prepared to be the unquestioned Big 12 favorite, Kansas landed the most dynamic freshman since at least Kevin Durant.

If only the news was as good around the rest of the league.

Outside of Kansas, Oklahoma State and probably Baylor, the Big 12 may have trouble putting teams into the NCAA Tournament.

College basketball: Ranking the Big 12's coaches for 2013-14

Bill Self an easy No. 1 in interesting cast of coaches
Bill Self an easy No. 1 in interesting cast of coaches

The Big 12 coach rankings start with Bill Self.

That’s the easy part.

After that, ranking the Big 12 coaches is a chore. Three of the league’s most accomplished career coaches — Bob Huggins, Rick Barnes and Tubby Smith have more than 1,700 wins among them — are coming off of lackluster seasons. Smith was let go from his last job, and Barnes will be under pressure to turn things around at Texas in a hurry.

College basketball: The Big 12's top freshmen, transfers and more for 2013-14

The Big 12 adds more than just freshman Andrew Wiggins and Memphis transfer Tarik Black
The Big 12 adds more than just freshman Andrew Wiggins and Memphis transfer Tarik Black

With one school claiming the top three returning scorers in the Big 12, the rest of the league will depend on newcomers to challenge Oklahoma State’s veteran roster.

Nowhere is that more clear than at Kansas where the Jayhawks’ outlook changed in an instant when super-freshman Andrew Wiggins signed to play for Bill Self. He’s not the only big-time newcomer going to Lawrence, but he might be the most important new face for any team in the country.

Pages