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Three Questions About Big 12 Standings: Kansas, Texas, Mizzou And Kansas State

Big 12 conference play is starting to wind down with just a couple of weeks remaining. Here are three questions I have about how the season will play out.

The 2011 college basketball regular season is nearing the end with less than two weeks of Big 12 games to go until we hit the conference tournament and then enter March Madness for the NCAA tournament. There are still a few interesting story lines that have yet to be played out regarding the Big 12 standings.

Can Kansas catch Texas?

They need some help. Kansas, 11-2 in the conference, ends the season with games at Oklahoma, vs. Texas A&M and at Missouri. That's not an easy schedule but if they have any hope of coming out on to before the conference tournament they'll need to win all three. Texas, 12-1, has an easier road than Kansas as they go on the road to Colorado, at home against Kansas State and on the road to Baylor. Sure, Texas can lose any of those games but they've had just one slip-up since the first week of January. Of Texas' four losses this season, only one -- at USC -- was a major upset. The others came against teams in the top 10.

Who will take third place?

Right now, it's looking like Texas A&M with a 9-4 conference record. They have a one-game lead over Mizzou who is 8-5 in the Big 12. Texas A&M, though, doesn't have an easy road. They finish at Baylor, at Kansas and home against Texas A&M. I could see two losses there (but more likely just one). Mizzou's road is arguably tougher with road games against Kansas State and Nebraska before finishing up at home against Kansas. Texas A&M also has a victory on Mizzou -- 91-89 in OT back in January.

What's the importance of Mizzou vs. Kansas State on Saturday?

K-State played a big game against Nebraska on Wednesday night and won. The pressure continues as they host Mizzou this weekend. Mizzou's 8-5 conference record against K-State's 7-6 conference record. Both teams need this win. Missouri can't falter down the stretch (though they have in the past and been fine) while K-State may need a couple more wins to get into the tournament.

Here are the current standings:

Big 12
Texas 12-1 .923 24-4 .857
Kansas 11-2 .846 26-2 .929
Texas A&M 9-4 .692 22-5 .815
Missouri 8-5 .615 22-6 .786
Kansas State 7-6 .538 19-9 .679
Nebraska 6-7 .462 18-9 .667
Baylor 6-7 .462 17-10 .630
Colorado 6-7 .462 17-11 .607
Oklahoma State 4-9 .308 16-11 .593
Oklahoma 4-9 .308 12-15 .444
Texas Tech 4-9 .308 12-16 .429
Iowa State 1-12 .077 14-14 .500

For a Kansas view of things, check out Rock Chalk Talk; for Texas, check out Burnt Orange Nation; for Mizzou, check out Rock M Nation; and for Kansas State check out Bring On The Cats