The Baylor Bears march up the polls continued for the 8th straight week as they were selected the 2nd best team in the nation Monday morning. This is the second highest AP Poll appearance for the Bears. Winners of 11-straight games, the Bears (12-1, 3-0) had a tremendous week with two Top-25 road wins. The first was a tough win over defending Big 12 champion Texas Tech in Lubbock.
Baylor also achieved a program first with a road win against Kansas in Lawrence. The Bears 67-55 victory over 3rd ranked Kansas pushed them up the rankings, trailing only #1 team Gonzaga. Winners of 12-straight games, the Bears lone loss is to Washington in the second game of the season in a neutral court game. Baylor lost to the Huskies in Alaska after controlling the game for the most part, losing a late lead for their lone-blemish on the season.
The Bears are the lone team in the nation with more than 3 Top-25 victories, and they have four victories against current Top-25 teams. They have defeated 5th ranked Butler, 6th ranked Kansas, 14th ranked Villanova, and 23rd ranked Texas Tech. Arizona is receiving votes after dropping out of the Top-25 this week.
Baylor received 1,567 points in the rankings, just 7 behind top-ranked Gonzaga. Baylor actually led in first place votes, 31-30, in a very tight race. Baylor’s case for the top-spot in rankings is a strong one, along with several other teams. The Bears are the top team in the .Net rankings that the selection committee will use. In addition, they have the most Top-25 victories of any team in the nation.
—Jared Butler was named Big 12 Conference player of the week for his efforts in the Bears two Top-25 road victories. He led the Bears with 22 points on 9-18 shooting to go along with 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Butler also had a run of 10-straight points as the Bears pulled away from Kansas in the late first half. In the Bears victory over Texas Tech earlier in the week, Butler was limited due to foul trouble but still scored 5-key points late in the game to help Baylor defeat the Red Raiders.
—Redshirt junior guard MaCio Teague was named the conference’s co-Newcomer of the Week, sharing the honor with WVU’s Miles McBride. Teague posted 16 points, a team-high seven rebounds, three assists and zero turnovers in 35 minutes of the win at Kansas. He scored 11 points as part of the Bears’ 22-4 run to close the first half, turning a 20-15 deficit into a 37-24 lead at the break. He added a 3-pointer with 10 minutes remaining after Kansas cut the lead to five points, sparking a 10-2 run which gave Baylor a double-digit lead for the remainder of the game.
—Baylor players have earned multiple Big 12 Player of the Week honors in nine consecutive seasons, and a BU player has been named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week at least once in 14 of the last 16 seasons. BU has earned 26 Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors in the last 13 seasons after earning 10 such honors in the league’s first 11 seasons. All told, 24 different Baylor players have earned 36 Big 12 Newcomer of the Week awards in the league’s 24-year history.
—Baylor takes on Iowa State at the Ferrell Center this Tuesday evening at 8pm CT on ESPN-Plus. Baylor is looking for a 4-0 start in Big 12 play.