Following West Virginia’s 85-78 loss to Texas on Tuesday night, Kansas finds itself alone in first place in the Big 12 standings, a game up over the Mountaineers with five remaining.
So what are KU’s chances to win or share a 12th straight Big 12 title?
For help with that question, I asked advanced stats expert Ken Pomeroy to run the numbers. The following are each team’s likelihood to win or share the Big 12 title, based on 10,000 simulations.
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As you’d expect, KU is the odds-on favorite here even with a difficult remaining schedule.
What’s amazing, though, is how far the Jayhawks have come in such a short amount of time.
I previously asked Pomeroy to send me the numbers on Jan. 27, which was the day after KU lost to Iowa State on the road and fell to 5-3 in the conference.
Here are the percentages from that day, and how much the percentages have changed since three weeks ago.
KU has done its part over that time span. The Jayhawks have gone 5-0 in Big 12 play, which included crucial wins over West Virginia (home) and Oklahoma (road).
Other teams also have come back to Kansas. OU is the most extreme example, as a road loss to Kansas State followed by the home loss to KU has all but taken the Sooners out of the race.
Three weeks ago, I thought this was the year that KU finally wouldn’t win the Big 12. Then the Jayhawks just did what they do, winning the most pivotal games of the season while watching other teams falter.
Suddenly, a 1-in-10 long shot is more like a 3-in-4 probability.
And Bill Self’s potential 12th consecutive title might just be his finest work yet.