Creating a path for Kansas basketball to claim a share of the Big 12 title

Feb 17, 2024; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Kansas Jayhawks head coach Bill Self gestures to his team
Feb 17, 2024; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Kansas Jayhawks head coach Bill Self gestures to his team / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
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Baylor defeats Houston at home

No. 2 Houston will travel to No. 11 Baylor this weekend in a marquee conference matchup. A win would essentially lock up a share of the title for the Cougars, who have games against Cincinnati, Oklahoma, and UCF following Saturday's tilt. But if they lose, Kansas remains in the race.

Houston leads the Big 12 with a 10-3 conference record and would drop to four losses if they can't pull off the road win. Assuming Kansas defeats Texas in Allen Fieldhouse, they'd be one game out of the conference title and still in the race with a 9-5 conference record.

Iowa State loses one of their next five games

This is where it gets tricky. Iowa State sits second in the Big 12 standings after losing to Houston on Monday. With a 9-4 conference record, Kansas needs Iowa State to lose at least one more game to stay in the title race. Unfortunately, the Cyclones have one of the easiest schedules the remainder of the way, with games at home against Oklahoma, West Virginia, and BYU and road meetings with UCF and K-State.

By no means is Iowa State unbeatable, but they'll be favored in all five of those games. When I mentioned Kansas would need some luck on its side to pull this off, I meant it.

Kansas defeats Baylor/Houston on the road in addition to remaining games

The good news is that the Jayhawks have more home games than road games to close out the year. The bad news is that those two road games are against two of the best teams in the country.

For a team that dropped road games to West Virginia and UCF, fans might not feel too confident about them winning these games, let alone avoiding a blowout. While Kansas already beat both of these teams in the Fieldhouse, Bill Self must orchestrate a picture-perfect game plan to somehow pull off these upsets. And, of course, all of this is futile if Kansas doesn't win the other three home games remaining on its schedule.

Baylor/Texas Tech drop out of the title race

While this isn't necessary for Kansas, one of Baylor or Texas Tech will inevitably fall out of contention for the Big 12 title race when they play in Lubbock for the last game of the regular season. Both teams share an 8-5 conference record with KU right now, but considering we are assuming Kansas will win the next five games, one would be knocked out — preferably Texas Tech because Kansas needs to beat Baylor to stay in it.

And just like that... Kansas shares the Big 12 regular season title with Houston and Iowa State!