From West Virginia to Press Virginia to ... Mess Virginia?
The way in which West Virginia lost was particularly surprising. The team known for turning teams over and creating havoc with its full-court defensive pressure had its own struggles taking care of the ball. Kansas State forced 23 West Virginia turnovers, but only gave the ball away 16 times. Even playing on the road, that's a shocking statistic for a team that ranks No. 1 in turnovers forced per game. The Wildcats took advantage of those opportunities too, scoring 25 points off turnovers.
Bob Huggins' team was considered by many to be a bonafide challenger to Kansas' 12-year reign atop the Big 12. Now the Mountaineers are 4-3 in Big 12 play and behind the eight ball to finish at the top of the league. They are three games behind Bill Self's Jayhawks, who tightened their grip on the lead with a win over Texas and have a perfect 7-0 record in league play.
Kansas' reign over the conference is nothing new. So maybe all of this shouldn't be surprising. In addition those 12 straight conference titles, No. 2 Kansas is now riding an 18-game winning streak.
West Virginia losing for a third time in league play won't automatically lock up a 13th straight regular season title for KU. But it nearly eliminates WVU, unless it happens to run the table.
An early surprise in the conference has been Baylor, who stands alone in second place with a 6-1 league record.
The Bears still have a good a chance to pry the crown from Kansas with only one loss. With 12 Big 12 games left on the schedule, it's certainly a possibility. Heck, no one is completely eliminated. But Baylor has never done it before, and Kansas has made it a yearly to-do. So until Baylor actually does it, it's hard to presume anyone other than Kansas is the favorite.
Behind Kansas at 7-0 in the Big 12 standings is Baylor (6-1), followed by Kansas State, West Virginia and Iowa State, who are all 4-3.