top25and1-loyola.jpg
USATSI

After the final buzzer had sounded late Saturday and Baylor had taken its first loss of the season — unsurprisingly inside Allen Fieldhouse, where, historically, just about all visitors lose to Kansas, especially on Senior Night — Bears coach Scott Drew hopped on Zoom and summarized things perfectly.

“We had three weeks where we got worse, and they had three weeks where they got better,” Drew said. “Even Superman has kryptonite. And I guess COVID protocols are ours.”

It certainly seems that way.

The final score was 71-58, the final minutes never in doubt. The Jayhawks controlled things the entire second half, never relinquishing the lead they held at the break. For the second straight outing, Baylor looked nothing like the team that started 17-0 before a 21-day pause for COVID-19 issues within the program disrupted its season after a victory at Texas in early February.

Whether it’s fatigue or rust or something else entirely, I’ll let others debate. Undeniably, though, it’s something — and it’s something that, among other things, has turned the best 3-point shooting team in the country into a bad 3-point shooting team. Before their season was paused, the Bears were shooting a national-best 43.9% from 3-point range. In two games since returning from the three-week layoff, the Bears are shooting just 27.5% from beyond the arc, which means one offensive thing Baylor was great at is suddenly a liability (at least temporarily).

Drew said after last Tuesday’s too-close-for-comfort win over Iowa State that most coaches he’s spoken with who have already gone through what he’s now going through told him it takes two or three games to get right again after such a long layoff. So, perhaps this was to be expected. Either way, the dream of a national championship game between two undefeated teams is now officially over — blown up forever on the final weekend of February. Baylor has left Gonzaga as the nation’s only undefeated outfit and obvious No. 1 in the CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. And now the question in Waco is simple: Can the Bears, suddenly with a double-digit blemish on their record, become a great team again?

Itching for more college hoops analysis? Listen below and subscribe to the Eye on College Basketball podcast where we take you beyond the hardwood with insider information and instant reactions.

Sunday’s Top 25 And 1 rankings

Biggest Movers

7

Oklahoma State

5

Oklahoma
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd

1


Gonzaga

Gonzaga’s perfect record includes double-digit victories over Virginia, Iowa and Kansas. The Zags have won their 15 WCC games by an average of 24.1 points. 24-0

2


Michigan

Michigan is 12-1 in the first two quadrants with double-digit wins over Iowa, Wisconsin and Purdue. The Wolverines’ lone loss came at Minnesota.

1 18-1

3


Baylor

Baylor suffered its first loss of the season Saturday at Kansas. The Bears are 8-1 in the first two quadrants with double-digit wins over Illinois, Oklahoma State and Texas. 1 18-1

4


Ohio St.

Ohio State dropped to 12-6 in the first two quadrants after Thursday’s loss at Michigan State. The Buckeyes’ resume is highlighted by victories over Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. 18-6

5


Illinois

Illinois is 12-6 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses. Five of the Illini’s six losses are Quadrant 1 defeats. 18-6

6


W. Virginia

West Virginia is 11-6 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses. The Mountaineers are 6-1 in their past seven games with wins over Texas, Kansas and Texas Tech. 17-6

7


Alabama

Alabama is 13-5 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss falling in Quadrant 3. The Crimson Tide are SEC champions for the first time since 2002.

19-6

8


Villanova

Villanova is 7-3 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses. The Wildcats are 4-1 in their past five games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Creighton. 15-3

9


Iowa

Iowa dropped to 11-7 in the first two quadrants after Thursday’s loss at Michigan. Six of the Hawkeyes’ seven defeats are Quadrant 1 defeats. 1 17-7

10


Houston

Houston is 6-2 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss falling in Quadrant 3. The Cougars are 4-1 in their past five games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Wichita State.

2 19-3

11


Arkansas

Arkansas is 10-5 in the first two quadrants with only one loss outside of Quadrant 1. The Razorbacks are 9-1 in their past 10 games with wins over Alabama and Missouri. 2 19-5

12


Florida St.

Florida State dropped to 8-3 in the first two quadrants after Saturday’s loss at North Carolina. The Seminoles’ resume also includes a Quadrant 3 loss to UCF. 3 14-4

13


Kansas

Kansas is 9-8 in the first two quadrants with zero losses outside of Quadrant 1. The Jayhawks are the only team that has beaten Baylor. 6 18-8

14


Texas

Texas dropped to 7-7 in the first two quadrants after Saturday’s loss at Texas Tech. All seven of the Longhorns losses are Quadrant 1 defeats. 3 14-7

15


Loyola Chi.

Loyola Chicago is 5-4 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses. The Ramblers are 13-1 in their past 14 games and MVC champions for the third time in the past four seasons.

2 21-4

16


Creighton

Creighton dropped to 11-3 in the first two quadrants after Saturday’s loss at Xavier. The Bluejays’ resume also includes three Quadrant 3 defeats. 2 17-6

17


Oklahoma St.

Oklahoma State is 8-5 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss falling in Quadrant 3. The Cowboys will take a four-game winning streak into Monday’s game with Oklahoma. 7 16-6

18


Virginia

Virginia dropped to 7-4 in the first two quadrants after Wednesday’s loss to NC State. The Cavaliers have two additional losses in Quadrant 3.

15-6

19


USC

USC dropped to 7-6 in the first two quadrants after Saturday’s loss at Utah. The Trojans are 1-3 in their past three games with all three losses coming to unranked opponents. 4 19-6

20


Wisconsin

Wisconsin dropped to 9-9 in the first two quadrants after Saturday’s loss to Illinois. The Badgers are 1-3 in their past four games with the lone win in that stretch coming at Northwestern. 4 16-9

21


Va. Tech

Virginia Tech is 5-5 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses. The Hokies’ resume is highlighted by wins over Villanova, Virginia and Clemson. 15-5

22


BYU

BYU is 8-5 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses. The Cougars will take a four-game winning streak into the West Coast Conference Tournament. 3 19-5

23


Purdue

Purdue is 11-7 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss falling in Quadrant 3. The Boilermakers will take a three-game winning streak into Tuesday’s game with Wisconsin.

16-8

24


Clemson

Clemson is 9-5 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses. The Tigers will take a five-game winning streak into Wednesday’s game at Syracuse. NR 15-5

25


Oklahoma

Oklahoma dropped to 6-6 in the first two quadrants after Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma State. The Sooners’ resume also includes a Quadrant 3 loss at Kansas State. 5 14-7

26


Missouri

Missouri dropped to 8-7 in the first two quadrants after Tuesday’s loss to Ole Miss. The Tigers are 1-4 in their past five games with three losses in that stretch to unranked teams. 14-7

In: Clemson
Out: Tennessee