Harrington: Iowa State, Kansas or Baylor? Who wins the Big 12?

Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly talks to the team during the Cyclones’ 89-67 win over Oklahoma on Feb. 19.

Andrew Harrington

The road to a regular season Big 12 championship for Iowa State women’s basketball has become clear.

With four games remaining, the Cyclones will look to bring home the title for the first time since sharing the title with Oklahoma and Texas Tech in the 2000-01 season.

The Cyclones currently hold a 22-4 record, including an 11-3 record in Big 12 play. This Big 12 record puts Iowa State in a tie at the top with Baylor, and Kansas sits just a game behind at 10-4.

Texas and Oklahoma stand at 9-5 in conference and still have a chance; it appears that this is now a three-horse race.

One of the biggest factors of motivation for the Cyclones this season has been refusing to look past the next game, but for the sake of speculation, here are what the final four games look like for the three Big 12 contenders:

Iowa State

Iowa State’s final four games are on the road against Kansas, at home against Texas Tech and Baylor and back on the road for the regular season finale against West Virginia.

Sitting in the lower half of the Big 12, West Virginia and Texas Tech should be a pair of wins for Iowa State, especially considering that the Cyclones cruised to victories against both in the previous meetings.

Iowa State’s previous meeting with Kansas went well for the Cyclones, as they earned a 77-62 win, but the Jayhawks have since improved.

Winning seven straight games in Big 12 play, Kansas has proven to become a dangerous team down the stretch.

Iowa State will likely be favored in this matchup, but do not think that Wednesday’s game against Kansas will be easy.

The final home game and what might end up becoming the most important game of the regular season for the Cyclones comes against Baylor on Feb. 28.

During the previous meeting, Baylor cruised to an 87-61 win. While the win was dominant, Iowa State just got Ashley and Aubrey Joens off of Big 12 Health and Safety protocols.

The Cyclones could win outright in a few ways; however, I predict that the Cyclones will only win the Big 12 regular season title outright with a 4-0 finish, and I do not foresee a situation ends with them sharing the crown.


Baylor is in a similar situation as Iowa State, with a pair of games against Oklahoma State and Texas Tech that both should be wins.

In addition to these games, Baylor also has a game against Kansas, and the previously mentioned game against Iowa State.

This similar schedule is a part of the reason that the matchup with Iowa State is so crucial. Whatever team comes away with that game skyrockets their percentage of taking the title.

Like Iowa State, a 4-0 finish would automatically grant them lone possession of the top spot in the Big 12.


Kansas has a much more interesting outlook than the other two teams. The final four games of the season for the Jayhawks come against the four other top-five teams in the Big 12 in Iowa State, Baylor, Texas and Oklahoma.

The obvious consequence of this scheduling is that the road to the finish will not be an easy one. During the first half of conference play, Kansas went 1-3 against these opponents with the lone win coming against Texas. 

On the other side of things for the Jayhawks, this schedule allows them to control their own destiny, as do Iowa State and Baylor.

Kansas will likely come at these teams playing its best basketball, but given how tough the schedule is, it will be difficult for Kansas to claw its way to the top spot.

Each of these squads secure the top spot with a 4-0 record, making the final two weeks of the season especially interesting.