The Big 12 is more than halfway through the regular season and the conference title is as undecided as it was before it started.The top seven teams are within three games of each other, including co-leaders Kansas (20-4, 8-3) and Kansas State (19-5, 8-3) after the Jayhawks' victory Monday night.The logjam includes West Virginia (12-11, 5-5) which has won three consecutive games to turn its season around after a 1-3 start to conference play.The Mountaineers are a team many in the league may not want to see come Big 12 tournament time on March 13-16. When WVU was struggling, it still narrowly lost to Kansas State (by one point) and Iowa State (by two points)."There were a lot of people who kind of left us up for dead," WVU coach Bob Huggins said after the Mountaineers beat TCU on Saturday. "There's going to be some other people lose and fall to us and we can certainly help ourselves. We just have to keep winning."Although eight games remain before the league tournament, the Big 12 title race could be a logjam the final week. The league has never finished with the top six teams separated by so few games. Headed into Monday's action, 25 of the league's 50 games had been decided by 11 or fewer points, including four overtime games.No. 17 Oklahoma State and Kansas State -- the league's hottest teams -- still have plenty of tough roadblocks in the final three weeks of the regular season. OSU has won five in a row entering Wednesday's game at Texas.Kansas State had won four consecutive games before Monday's loss at Kansas. KSU still has two games against Baylor."The only thing we've mentioned to our team going into the Texas games was we're near the top of the league, let's try to stay up there," OSU coach Travis Ford said. "But I think every team is trying to win their next game. That's what it's all about, figuring out how to win your next game whether you won or lost the game before."Baylor coach Scott Drew, whose team snapped a three-game losing streak with a win over Texas Tech on Saturday, said the Big 12 race mirrors conference races around the country."I just think every coach is trying to make sure their team is one of those in the hunt. If you look at the conference races across the board we may have closer parity within the conferences than we've had in a long time and maybe ever."Tech needs homeTexas Tech interim coach Chris Walker isn't discounting his team's chances of winning another road game in the Big 12 -- after all, the Red Raiders opened conference play with a win at TCU -- but after a run through the league he's confident United Spirit Arena offers the best chance at victory."In this league, our best chance, in my opinion, is winning at home," said Walker, whose team hosts Oklahoma State at 6 p.m. Wednesday. "I just think to win in this league is very, very difficult. That's why we cherish our win over Iowa State."Since that win Jan. 23, the Raiders (9-12, 2-8) have lost four in a row, including three by more than 16 points. "I believe we're going to get a couple more wins, and our best chances for us, the way we look at it, is at home."Beating the trafficKansas State is only 80 minutes from Lawrence. But the Wildcats decided against waiting to drive Monday for their showdown with the Kansas Jayhawks. The team arrived in Lawrence on Sunday night after some players expressed an interest in doing a shoot-around at Allen Fieldhouse the night before, KSU coach Bruce Weber said."With all the hype for the game, we just felt we needed to get the guys away," he said. "We got the guys focused on the task at hand."Stefan Stevenson817-390-7760Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs
Big 12 Players
of the week
Men's Player of the Week
F Connell Crossland, TCU: He had a career-high 15 rebounds in the Horned Frogs' upset of Kansas and scored a career-high 13 points against West Virginia to earn TCU's first Big 12 weekly honor. The senior shot 50 percent from the field (6 of 12) and grabbed 24 rebounds, nearly 33 percent of the team's total (73), during the week.
Men's Rookie of the Week
G Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State: The freshman from Flower Mound Marcus earned the honor for the third time (he also was named Player of the Week last week) after averaging 18.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in wins against Baylor and Texas. He also had 10 assists and nine steals.
Women's Players of the Week
G Odyssey Sims, Baylor: The junior from Irving averaged 15.5 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals while turning the ball over only three times in Baylor's two victories last week.
C Nicole Griffin, Oklahoma: The junior from Milwaukee averaged 17 points and 5 rebounds in victories over K-State and No. 22 Oklahoma State last week while holding opposing post players to a combined 17 points in the two games.
Women's Freshmen of the Week
G Kidd Blaskowsky, Iowa State: Blaskowsky shot 60 percent from the field and averaged 8.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3 assists as the Cyclones went 2-0.
C Imani McGee-Stafford, Texas: Averaged 9 points and 12.5 rebounds.
"It's really remarkable how he has stayed in it as much as he has. He's been our hardest worker by far every day. We're happy for him that he gets a show now. I don't know a way he's not going to help us." -- Texas coach Rick Barnes on guard Myck Kabongo's return Wednesday.
"We didn't rally in Fort Worth. We actually played pretty hard and all that stuff at OU, we just got beat ... and if we haven't gone through some crap we wouldn't be tough enough to compete on the highest stage anyway."
-- Kansas coach Bill Self on his team's three-game losing streak headed to Monday night's game with Kansas State.
31,400Miles West Virginia will fly in its first year in the Big 12, which coach Bob Huggins pointed out was more than a trip around the world (24,900 miles).