Kansas continues to roll in Big 12 play as the No. 8 Jayhawks got past No. 24 Baylor with a 78-68 win on Monday night in Lawrence.
The win for Kansas marked the fourth consecutive win for the Jayhawks over a ranked opponent, the first time that a team has beaten four straight ranked teams since North Carolina in 1996-97.
For the Jayhawks, it was another night in which freshmen Joel Embiid (12 points) and Andrew Wiggins had flashes of brilliance and received support from a number of other players on Kansas, most notably sophomore Perry Ellis. Kansas shot 23-for-40 for 57 percent from the field and 26-for-29 from the free throw line for the game and did a good job remaining patient and finding good shots.
Ellis looked great operating the baseline and going inside-out to the tune of a team-high 18 points and Wiggins went for 17 points and seven rebounds — and a really solid 10-for-12 from the free throw line — as the Jayhawks led the entire second half and outplayed Baylor for much of the contest.
Baylor also struggled to 39 percent shooting from the field, even though they were 13-for-27 from three-point range (48 percent) for the game. Not many teams are going to beat Kansas on the road by shooting 31 percent (10-for-32) on two-point field goal attempts like Baylor did on Monday night.
It wasn’t the biggest win for the Jayhawks on Monday night — and they continue to roll through their very difficult schedule — but Kansas is clearly the class of the Big 12 after a 4-0 start over Iowa State, Baylor, Kansas State and Oklahoma State and they continue to get better by winning games in different ways.
Steve Prohm announced on Monday that starting center Jameel McKay will not be in the lineup on Wednesday when the Cyclones take on Texas Tech.
“He’ll practice today because I want him in practice,” Prohm said, “but game-wise, he’s suspended.”
McKay did not make the trip to Stillwater with the team on Saturday, where Iowa State beat Oklahoma State, 64-59. Prohm has not gotten into specifics regarding the cause of McKay’s suspension, but it’s reportedly an issue with the way he has been practicing. McKay is dealing with a nagging knee injury, which may play a role in the situation as well.
“My hope is he’ll be with us on Saturday,” Prohm said.
Like the Coaches Poll, Villanova found themselves No. 1 in the AP Poll during the regular season for the first time in the history of the program.
And like the Coaches Poll, there isn’t much in the way of a consensus when it comes to who is the No. 1 team, as there are six teams that received No. 1 votes in the poll this week.
The biggest shock to me?
The No. 1 team in the NBC Sports Top 25, Iowa, received just 11 first place votes and is ranked fourth in the AP Poll.
They were ranked fifth in the Coaches Poll.
Can we get Fran McCaffery the love they deserve?
Here is the rest of the AP Poll:
1. Villanova (20-3, 32 first-place votes)
2. Maryland (21-3, 13)
3. Oklahoma (19-3, 7)
4. Iowa (19-4, 11)
5. Xavier (21-2)
6. Kansas (19-4, 1)
7. Virginia (19-4, 1)
8. Michigan State (20-4)
9. North Carolina (19-4)
10. West Virginia (19-4)
11. Oregon (18-4)
12. Miami (FL) (18-4)
13. Louisville (19-4)
14. Iowa State (17-6)
15. Texas A&M (18-5)
16. SMU (20-2)
17. Arizona (19-5)
18. Purdue (19-5)
19. Dayton (19-3)
20. Providence (18-6)
21. Baylor (17-6)
22. Kentucky (17-6)
23. USC (18-5)
24. Texas (16-7)
25. Wichita State (17-6)
DROPPED OUT: No. 22 Indiana, No. 25 South Carolina
NEW ADDITIONS: No. 23 USC, No. 24 Texas