MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — If anything has become clear through the first few days of league play around the country it is this: there are no days off in the Big 12.
Seven of the first 10 conference games have been decided by six or fewer points. Five have been decided by three or fewer points. Four Top 25 teams have been defeated, including nationally ranked Baylor losing twice.
West Virginia (10-4, 0-2 Big 12) has felt the wrath of the conference schedule thus far, as the Mountaineers have dropped their first two games in league play for the first time since 2018.
The eye test has shown that the Big 12 will be extremely competitive all season long. Meanwhile, the computers suggest it will be more competitive than any other conference in men’s college basketball.
Eight of the ten teams in the Big 12 rank inside the top 35 in the NET rankings, giving the league an average NET ranking of 26.8. It’s an incredibly impressive number, and even better than the league-wide ranking was before conference play got underway last Saturday.
KenPom Ratings see the Big 12 even more favorably. All 10 conference teams are rated among the top 37 teams in the country, according to the metric. The average KenPom rating within the league sits at 24.9. No other league in America can say that half of their conference is rated that highly, let alone the entire conference.
While the NET and KenPom rankings show how competitive the league is in the here and now, one metric shows how competitive the league appears to be for the rest of the season.
According to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index (BPI) projections, Big 12 teams own each of the 10 hardest remaining schedules in the country. Of the 363 Division I men’s basketball teams, every club in the Big 12 has a harder schedule than any other team from any other conference.
Oklahoma currently tops the list of toughest remaining schedules, with West Virginia slotted tenth, meaning the Mountaineers have the “easiest” schedule left among teams in the league.
How easy is it the rest of the way for Huggins’ crew? As of Thursday, 11 of WVU’s 17 remaining games are against ranked teams.
Half of the Big 12 was featured inside the AP Top 25 once again this week, while two, including West Virginia, sat just outside and received votes.