In terms of point differential per possession, last year the gap between Kansas and the second-place team in the North was much larger than that between second place and the cellar. That will likely be the case again this year. With that said, buy your Iowa State stock now. I've seen them projected by some observers as the 12th-best team overall in the Big 12. Don't believe it. Even with all the turmoil and transfers that followed the sudden implosion of former coach Wayne Morgan's tenure, Greg McDermott somehow put a team on the floor that had the fourth-best defense in the conference. The Cyclones will do better than expected this year.