College Basketball Power Rankings: Oklahoma, Illinois use big wins to vault into top 12

The Big Ten received plenty of attention early in the season, and rightfully so. The league looked for a stretch like it could have 12 or 13 teams in the NCAA tournament hunt. That's cooled down some with the struggles of Michigan State and Northwestern and the inconsistencies of Rutgers and Indiana. Meanwhile, the Big 12 has put itself right next to the Big Ten in the "best conference in the country" discussion.

The league has a legitimate national championship favorite -- and in my opinion, there are really only two teams in that category -- in Baylor Bears, along with three other teams in this week's Power Rankings. A fifth team, Texas Tech, is the first team left out of the Rankings this week. And that group doesn't include blueblood Kansas and the program with the likely No. 1 pick in this year's NBA draft, Oklahoma State.

I tweeted it on Saturday night, and I think it's true: There's a strong case that Kansas is the seventh-best team in the Big 12. Considering the Jayhawks have beaten Creighton, Texas Tech, West Virginia and Oklahoma already this season, that's a pretty good sign for the strength of the league.

As is this week's spotlight team ...