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Oklahoma State beat Texas Tech (for the second time this season) late Monday to improve to 15-6 overall, 8-6 in the Big 12. If the NCAA Tournament started today, the Cowboys would easily be in it. Furthermore, if the NCAA Tournament starts as scheduled, the Cowboys will also easily be in it -- provided, of course, the NCAA doesn't deny Oklahoma State's appeal of its postseason ban between now and Selection Sunday.

That's the biggest subplot in the Big 12 right now.

Will OSU be eligible or not?

The background is this: The NCAA hit Oklahoma State with a one-year postseason ban last June because of violations committed by former associate head coach Lamont Evans. Oklahoma State, by rule, had a right to appeal. So it did. Now we're just 19 days away from Selection Sunday, and the NCAA still hasn't ruled on Oklahoma State's appeal, which means the Cowboys are technically eligible for the 2021 NCAA Tournament pending appeal.

My advice: Don't rule before Selection Sunday.

And, to be clear, I'm not suggesting this because I necessarily believe it's the right thing for the NCAA to do for Oklahoma State. Rather, I'm suggesting this because I believe it's the right thing for the NCAA to do for the NCAA. I mean, we're already (probably) about to have an NCAA Tournament without some of the biggest brands in the sport like Kentucky, Michigan State and Syracuse, not to mention Arizona, which self-imposed a postseason ban. So if there's a way to have Oklahoma State -- and, more specifically, Cade Cunningham, the projected No. 1 overall pick of the 2021 NBA Draft -- in the field to help offset all that'll be missing, it would be in the NCAA's best interests to let it happen.

The NCAA can deny the appeal later, if it wants. We can debate that issue another time. But as long as the NCAA isn't required to rule in advance of the 2021 NCAA Tournament (and it isn't), and as long as the NCAA isn't under any pressure to rule in advance of the 2021 NCAA Tournament (and it isn't), the NCAA would be wise to just sit idle for at least another month. At this point, I suspect that it will.

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Tuesday's Top 25 And 1 rankings

Biggest Movers
1 Oklahoma State
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Gonzaga Gonzaga's perfect record includes double-digit victories over Virginia, Iowa and Kansas. The Zags have won their 13 WCC games by an average of 27.5 points. --24-0
2 Baylor Baylor's perfect record is highlighted by victories over Texas, Illinois, Texas Tech and Kansas. The Bears have won 15 of their 17 games by double-digits. --20-1
3 Michigan Michigan is 10-1 in the first two quadrants with double-digit wins over Wisconsin and Purdue. The Wolverines' lone loss came at Minnesota. --19-2
4 Ohio St. Ohio State is 11-5 in the first two quadrants after Sunday's loss to Michigan. The Buckeyes lead the nation with eight Quadrant 1 wins. --18-8
5 Illinois Illinois is 11-5 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses. The Illini will take a seven-game winning streak into Tuesday's game at Michigan State. --20-6
6 Alabama Alabama is 12-5 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses. The Crimson Tide will take a three-game winning streak into Wednesday's game at Arkansas. --21-6
7 Oklahoma Oklahoma is 8-1 in its past nine games with wins over Alabama, West Virginia, Texas and Kansas. The Sooners have zero losses outside of Quadrant 1. --14-9
8 W. Virginia West Virginia is 10-6 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses. The Mountaineers are 4-1 in their past five games with wins over Texas, Kansas and Texas Tech. --18-8
9 Villanova Villanova is 6-3 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses. The Wildcats are 3-1 in their past four games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Creighton. --16-5
10 Florida St. Florida State is 8-2 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss falling in Quadrant 3. The Seminoles are 8-1 in their past nine games with victories over Virginia and Louisville. --15-5
11 Iowa Iowa is 10-6 in the first two quadrants with only one loss outside of Quadrant 1. The Hawkeyes will take a four-game winning streak into Thursday's game at Michigan. --20-7
12 Va. Tech Virginia Tech is 6-4 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses. The Hokies' resume is highlighted by victories over Villanova and Virginia. --15-5
13 Texas Texas dropped to 6-6 in the first two quadrants after Saturday's loss to West Virginia. All six of the Longhorns' losses are Quadrant 1 defeats. --16-7
14 Houston Houston is 6-2 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss falling in Quadrant 3. The Cougars are 3-1 in their past four games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Wichita State. --21-3
15 USC USC is 7-4 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses. The Trojans are 8-1 in their past nine games with wins over UCLA and Oregon. --21-6
16 Virginia Virginia dropped to 8-4 in the first two quadrants after Saturday's loss at Duke. The Cavaliers will take a two-game losing streak into Wednesday's game with NC State. --17-6
17 Creighton Creighton is 10-1 in the first two quadrants with four additional losses falling in Quadrant 3. The Bluejays are 6-1 in their past seven games with wins over Villanova and Seton Hall. --18-7
18 Arkansas Arkansas is 8-5 in the first two quadrants with only one loss outside of Quadrant 1. The Razorbacks are 7-1 in their past eight games with wins over Missouri and Florida. --21-5
19 Kansas Kansas is 8-7 in the first two quadrants with zero losses outside of Quadrant 1. The Jayhawks will take a five-game winning streak into Tuesday's game at Texas. --19-8
20 Wisconsin Wisconsin is 9-8 in the first two quadrants with only one loss outside of Quadrant 1. The Badgers' resume is highlighted by victories over Loyola Chicago, Rutgers and Maryland. --16-11
21 Loyola Chi. Loyola Chicago is 5-4 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses. The Ramblers are 12-1 in their past 13 games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Drake. --23-4
22 Missouri Missouri is 9-6 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses. The Tigers' resume is highlighted by victories over Illinois, Alabama, Arkansas, Oregon and Tennessee. --15-8
23 LSU LSU is 6-6 in the first two quadrants with zero losses outside of Quadrant 1. The Tigers will take a three-game winning streak into Tuesday's game at Georgia. 116-8
24 Tennessee Tennessee dropped to 6-6 in the first two quadrants after Saturday's loss to Kentucky. The Vols have lost five of their past 10 games with four of the losses coming to unranked opponents. 117-7
25 Purdue Purdue is 9-7 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss falling in Quadrant 3. The Boilermakers will take a two-game winning streak into Friday's game at Penn State. 118-8
26 Oklahoma St. Oklahoma State is 7-5 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss falling in Quadrant 3. The Cowboys will take a three-game winning streak into Saturday's game at Oklahoma. NR18-7

In: Oklahoma State
Out: Oregon