NCAA Basketball

College basketball rankings: Texas moves to No. 3, Iowa State to No. 5 as Big 12 dominates Top 25 and 1

CBS Sports Graphics

The Big 12 has once again established itself as far and away the best conference in college basketball with six teams in the top 13 of the Top 25 and 1 (and only two outside the top 45 of the NET). After Iowa State beat Kansas State 80-76 late Tuesday and Texas handled Oklahoma State 89-75, what we have is a three-way tie for first place in the league standings between UT, ISU and KSU.

Kansas, TCU and Baylor are one game away.

Any of those six schools looks capable of winning at least a share of the Big 12 championship, though it’s worth noting that currently projects Texas and Iowa State to share the league title at 12-6 conference records. Those schools are No. 3 and No. 5, respectively, in Wednesday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 and 1 daily college basketball rankings, followed by No. 6 Kansas State, No. 10 Kansas, No. 12 TCU and No. 13 Baylor. Iowa State’s jump from No. 11 to No. 5 saw Houston, Tennessee, Arizona, Kansas and Virginia all get pushed down one spot each, through no fault of their own.

An interesting fact about Texas, Iowa State and Kansas State being my three highest-ranked Big 12 schools is that all three have new or relatively new coaches. Rodney Terry first became the Longhorns’ interim coach in December after second-year coach Chris Beard was suspended — and eventually fired — following a felony charge tied to an incident with his fiancee. TJ Otzelberger is in just his second season with the Cyclones, while Jerome Tang is in his first with the Wildcats.

All three men and their staffs prove to varying degrees that moving a program to a better place no longer has to take time. The combination of an always-full transfer portal, one-transfer waivers and name, image and likeness options has created a world where conversions now often take months, not years. To be clear, that doesn’t mean every new coach is going to turn a bad thing around as quickly as it has been done at Iowa State and Kansas State. It just means that it’s undeniably possible — and that some of the first- and second-year coaches begging fans for patience and time aren’t as directly impactful as they could have been, or at least as some of their counterparts are currently.

Top 25 and 1 positions

Biggest movers


Iowa State


Kansas State

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