Baylor’s trip to the top is likely one and done.
The Bears lost in their first game as the No. 1 team in the AP Top 25 , clearing the way for the Kansas Jayhawks to possibly soar to the top of Monday’s poll.
Kansas (16-1, 5-0 Big 12) moved up a spot to No. 2 in last week’s poll and won both of its games this week by sweeping both Oklahoma schools. Combined with Baylor’s blowout loss to No. 10 West Virginia, the Jayhawks will have a good shot to be No. 1 for the first time this season.
“I don’t know what’ll happen, if we’ll be 1, if Villanova will jump us or whatever,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “It’s really not a big deal. I’d much rather be 5-0 in the league than be No. 1. At least we have that.”
Kansas has a solid resume.
Since a four-point loss to then-No. 11 Indiana in their opener, the Jayhawks have reeled off 16 straight games. They had to outlast rival Kansas State at home and had trouble with Oklahoma State until pulling away late on Saturday, but keep finding ways to win.
Kansas has one of the nation’s best freshmen in Josh Jackson and Frank Mason III is not only one of the top point guards, he’s a legitimate candidate for national player of the year.
But Self does have a point about No. 3 Villanova .
Since their first loss of the season, to then-No. 18 Butler, the Wildcats (17-1, 5-1 Big East) have been dominant in winning three straight. None of the games were closer than 12 points and one came against a ranked team, No. 15 Xavier, which Villanova beat by 25.
The Wildcats also are the defending national champions and have a player of the year candidate of their own in Josh Hart.
Then there’s No. 5 Gonzaga . The Bulldogs (17-0, 5-0 WCC) are the last undefeated team in Division I and closed out the week with a blowout win over No. 21 Saint Mary’s.
Tune in Monday.
BEARS’ FALL, MOUNTAINEERS RISE
So after West Virginia knocked off Baylor in its first game as No. 1, two questions arise: How far do the Bears fall in Monday’s poll, how high do the Mountaineers climb?
The Bears bounced back to beat a Top 25 team on the road, knocking off No. 25 Kansas State on Saturday. On the other hand, the rest of the top six in the poll won and all have a record just as good or better than Baylor’s.
The Bears could end up anywhere between No. 2 and No. 6.
West Virginia could move up a couple of spots after No. 7 Duke and No. 9 Florida State each lost. Then again, both lost to teams inside the top 15, so there may not be a lot of shuffling.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK
No. 13 Oregon put on a dunk show in its 85-43 rout of rival Oregon State. Dwayne Benjamin had the best of the bunch with this tomahawk.
Gonzaga faced its biggest test so far this season when it hosted West Coast Conference rival Saint Mary’s.
The Bulldogs rolled over the Gaels 79-56, clearing the way for a potential undefeated regular season and No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Gonzaga hears some of the biggest cries about being overrated, but the Zags are deep and talented, maybe the best team Mark Few has had in 17 seasons in Spokane.
Gonzaga still has to face Saint Mary’s Feb. 11 in Moraga, but college basketball statistician Ken Pomeroy projects the Bulldogs will be 20-point favorites over BYU, the third-best team in the WCC, on Feb. 2 in Spokane.
Justin Patton, Creighton. The Blue Jays’ big man doesn’t get the hype as some of the same hype as players like Malik Monk or Lonzo Ball, but he has quickly made a name for himself as No. 8 Creighton has built an impressive resume.
The 7-foot center is Creighton’s second-leading scorer at 14.0 points per game and leads with 6.4 rebounds. And how about this stat: Patton is shooting 74 percent from the field, including 5 of 10 from 3-point range.