No. 1 Baylor falls to No. 3 Kansas

Tanya Simon
February 26, 2020

Kansas gets revenge, knocks off No. 1 BaylorKansas dethroned No.1-ranked Baylor 64-61 on Saturday night behind a monster game from senior center Udoka Azubuike, who finished with 23 points and 19 rebounds on the night. Dotson even shushed the Baylor faithful following a 3-pointer within the first seven minutes of a heavyweight battle Saturday afternoon inside the Ferrell Center.

Kansas will try for its 17th-straight win on ESPN Big Monday when the Oklahoma State Cowboys come to Lawrence on February 24.

It is more than that, however.

The 24-3 Jayhawks have won 12 in a row since their first-ever home loss to Baylor on January 11.

Saturday's contest marks the first time Kansas will take on the country's top-ranked team in over three seasons and just the fourth time since 2008.

Before this weekend, that title probably belonged to Baylor.

That ended the Bears' 23-game winning streak, and come Monday, likely their five-week hold on the No. 1 spot in the AP poll.

Baylor and Kansas now sit tied atop the Big 12 standings with identical league records of 13-1. "He was terrific", Kansas coach Bill Self said.

"He was great. He controlled the paint and rebounded the ball at a high level".

There was a strong element of that in play on Saturday, although it was more the result of Baylor's ferocious defense and not necessarily KU's inability to run offense.

Dotson's versatility is a big reason he now leads the Big 12 in scoring at 18.2 points per game.

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"Let's not forget about Dot", said Self of point guard Devon Dotson in a postgame interview with radio color analyst Greg Gurley. They beat us the first time.

After Baylor cut the KU lead to just three points, 56-53, with four minutes to play in regulation, two Jayhawk veterans stepped up and made plays that put just enough distance between themselves and the Bears.

"I think it meant a lot to our guys", Self said of the win over Baylor. Baylor hadn't been behind by more than two points in any of its previous 12 home games.

The Jayhawks did plenty of that, employing Self's new wrinkle of keeping the ball in the middle of the floor to prevent Baylor's defenders from playing strong help D on passes inside to Azubuike. "The Bears" start to the conference is also tied for the second-best in Big 12 history behind only the Kansas team in 2001-02 that won all 16 games. And the last time they faced a No. 1 team on the road was March 8, 1958, when they headed down the road to beat Kansas State.

The win wasn't without drama, of course.

Baylor played without their leading scorer, MaCio Teague, who missed his second straight game with a wrist injury. The Bears had one more shot, but Jared Butler's 3-pointer from beyond the top of the key ricocheted off the front of the iron as time expired.

It was a situation that last year's KU team might have squandered.

Kansas is now 8-1 in true road games this season and 12-2 in games not played in Allen Fieldhouse. In fact, KU now has the best odds (+800) to win the 2020 title via FanDuel's Sportsbook. No other league has more than two teams in the top 10.

Baylor might very well be one of the few true contenders as well.

If both teams finish 17-1 in the conference, a random draw will determine who the No. 1 seed is in the Big 12 tournament.

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