Baylor had their chance to knock off No. 8 Kansas on Tuesday night.
Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, the two superstars on the Kansas roster, did not score in the first half until Wiggins his a halfcourt shot at the buzzer. They finished a combined 5-for-19 from the floor. Wiggins had 14 points, seven boards, five assists, three steals and two blocks on the night, which is ridiculous when you consider that he played pretty poorly outside of a seven or eight minute stretch in the second half.
Embiid? He had five points, four fouls and three turnovers.
In other words, the Jayhawks were primed for an upset, and Baylor could do nothing about it, shooting 29.1% from the floor in a 69-52 loss. Take away Brady Heslip’s 4-for-5 start from three in the first 10 minutes, and Baylor shot 12-for-50 from the field.
That ain’t good.
And it puts them in an even bigger hole when it comes to the NCAA tournament.
Baylor is 14-8 on the season and 2-7 in league play. But they beat Colorado and Kentucky in non-conference play and the Big 12 has enough good teams that the Bears are still going to have plenty of chances to land the wins they need to win to go dancing. I’m just not convinced that they can get there, not when their zone is about as effective as using a coffee filter as a coffee mug and half of the roster has apparently already checked out.
As far as Kansas is concerned, this game was just another example of the growth of Naadir Tharpe. He had 22 points on 9-for-13 shooting and handed out four assists with just two turnovers, hitting a number of big shots in the process. He’s come up huge in a lot of big games this season, and it’s certainly a comforting sign for Bill Self that he can count on Tharpe to play like this on the nights that his best players are off.
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