One day after reaching the highest of highs, Baylor men’s basketball came crashing down when it ran into West Virginia on the road. The Associated Press gave the Bears their first #1 ranking in school history. A little over 24 hours later,however, they lost to defensive stalwart WVU. The wire-to-wire 89-68 score marked the worst margin of defeat for a debuting No.1 team.
Can’t Stop The Press
The Mountaineers (14-2, 3-1 Big 12) garnered the nickname ‘Press Virginia’ for their penchant to cause chaos and propensity to disrupt the opposing teams. Baylor (15-1, 3-1 Big 12) could not handle it, opening the game with 10 turnovers by the time they reached 10 points. Baylor head coach Scot Drew said it’s easily the best pressing team Bob Huggins has assembled. In fact, the Mountaineers force 33.1 percent of opponent possessions into turnovers. It’s currently the highest mark ever since the stat was recorded in 2001. The staunch WVU defense held Baylor’s starting five in check all night. Only three Bears scored in the double-digits, and all maxed out at 10 points.
— WVU Men's Basketball (@WVUhoops) January 11, 2017
The Mountaineers created some breathing room and it let Nathan Adrian nail his shots all night. The senior forward, who’s become a full-time starter for the first time, scored a game-high 22 points. Jevon Carter trailed him with 17 points. After the game, Huggins, a Baylor alum, revealed just how confident his team was before the game.
The Mountaineers won’t know how far they’ll climb in the AP poll until Tuesday, but in the meantime they get to beat up on a 7-8 Texas squad on Saturday. Baylor tries to pick up the pieces when with a road game against No.25 Kansas State (13-3) on the same day.
Chopping Down The Blue Devil
Were it not for WVU’s upset win, Florida State taking down Duke would have snatched the headlines. The ninth-ranked Seminoles beat the seventh-ranked Blue Devils 88-72 in Tallahassee. All of a sudden, Duke’s long-standing dominance of the ACC is in jeopardy. FSU (16-1, 4-0 ACC) has won a school-record 12 in a row, including victories against ranked Virginia Tech and Florida teams, en route to the top spot in the conference.
Florida State is just 1 of 2 schools in the country with both its men's and women's basketball teams ranked in the Top 10. #FSU
— Kenny Morales (@KennyMoralesTV) January 9, 2017
Duke managed to keep the game fairly close until midway through the second half when guards Dwayne Bacon and Xavier Rathan-Mayes hit key shots to open the lead to double digits. The two combined for 32 points on 13-for-28 from the field and 3-for-6 from beyond the arc.
FSU’s dominance gives way to an exciting Saturday game when they travel to Chapel Hill to take on No.11 North Carolina. Duke is also in a key ACC game. They’re on the road taking on No.14 Louisville.
Grayson Allen Controversy?
The polarizing Duke junior is once again being scrutinized after possibly shoving an FSU assistant coach while chasing a ball in front of the Seminoles’ bench.
Grayson Allen has serious issues pic.twitter.com/yEaIusuiRF
— Atlanta Sports Guy (@Atlantasportguy) January 11, 2017
Dennis Gates, the assistant coach in the center of the controversy, spoke out on Twitter in defense of Allen.
— Dennis Gates (@coachdgates) January 11, 2017
Allen’s reputation has been in the gutter after tripping opposing players three times over the course of the last year, and even one time last week (though no call was made). Allen was reprimanded last February when he tripped Rathan-Mayes in a game.