Most teams are winding down the regular season and hoping to lock up an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament before the conference tournaments begin in about a week. Some area teams, like Texas and SMU, are sitting pretty heading down the stretch. For others, like Oklahoma State and Baylor, it's gut-check time. Take a look at which teams still have some work to do before ordering their dancing shoes. Note: All records up to date as of Saturday morning. RPI rankings are via NCAA.com Texas Longhorns Record: 21-7 Big 12 record: 10-5 AP Ranking: 24 RPI: 23 Best wins: vs. Iowa State, vs. Kansas, at North Carolina Bad losses: None Notable: Three losses in Texas' past five games doesn't look very pretty, although they were all to quality opponents (K-State, Iowa State and Kansas). Texas visits Oklahoma Saturday, and with the two teams sitting at No. 23 and No. 25, respectively, in the RPI rankigns, this game is more about seeding than qualifying. The Longhorns luck out and face Big 12 cellar dwellers TCU and Texas Tech to close out the regular season, although both previous games this season were decided by five points or less. Famed ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi has Texas as a No. 6 seed. Baylor Bears Record: 18-10 Big 12 record: 6-9 AP Ranking: Unranked RPI: 39 Best wins: vs. Kentucky (neutral), at Oklahoma State, vs. Oklahoma State, vs. Kansas State Bad losses: at Texas Tech Notable: The Bears did themselves a huge favor last Saturday by beating fellow bubble team West Virginia, but they squandered an even bigger chance Wednesday at Texas (a 74-69 loss). Baylor must defeat Texas Tech on Saturday and top Kansas State next weekend to stay alive. A win midweek vs. No. 15 Iowa State would also do wonders. Lunardi has Baylor as a No. 11 seed. Oklahoma Sooners Record: 20-8 Big 12 record: 9-6 AP Ranking: 28 RPI: 25 Best wins: at Baylor, vs. Oklahoma State, at Texas, vs. Iowa State Bad losses: vs. Texas Tech Notable: The Sooners are in the enviable position of trying to improve their seeding. Thanks to wins against the likes of Texas and Iowa State, Oklahoma is essentially a lock in the field. However, its seeding coulf vary by quite a bit. A strong finish and showing in the Big 12 tourney could see Oklahoma move up to as high as a No. 5, as opposed to its No. 7 showing now, but losses could see the dip to an underdog seed, or the dreaded 8-9 match up. Oklahoma State Cowboys Record: 18-10 Big 12 record: 6-9 AP Ranking: Unranked RPI: 49 Best wins: vs. Texas, Colorado (neutral), vs. Louisiana Tech, vs. Memphis Bad losses: at Texas Tech Notable: Oklahoma State got a much-needed pair of blowout wins against Texa Tech and TCU to stop a seven-game tailspin of losses. The good news for the Cowboys is they have two fantastic opportunities to show the committee what its made of. That's also the bad news. Oklahoma State faces No. 5 Kansas on Saturday night, then faces No. 15 Iowa State a week later. Lunardi currently has the Cowboys in the tourney, however, as an 11 seed. SMU Mustangs Record: 22-6 AAC: 11-4 AP Ranking: 23 RPI: 37 Best wins: vs. Connecticut (twice), vs. Memphis, Vs. Cincinnati Bad losses: at South Florida, at Temple Notable: A season sweep of UConn, as well as wins against Cincy and Memphis, have all but assured the Mustangs' spot in the big dance. Even though the Ponies have curious losses at South Florida and Temple, which will hurt their overall seeding, SMU can afford another hiccup in its final few games.
NCAA Tournament projections (3/1): Baylor, Oklahoma State have work to do
Dallas Morning News | Mar 1