Thursday, October 29, 2020

Bears picked over Jayhawks in preseason Big 12 poll

Baylor guard Jared Butler (12) gets around Kansas guard Marcus Garrett (0) as he heads to the bucket during the second half on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Baylor guard Jared Butler (12) gets around Kansas guard Marcus Garrett (0) as he heads to the bucket during the second half on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020 at Allen Fieldhouse.


For the first time in 10 years, a program other than Kansas has been picked to win the Big 12 men’s basketball title in 2020-21.

The Baylor Bears, many people’s preseason pick to be the No. 1 team in the country, edged out KU at the top of the Big 12 coaches poll on Thursday, picking up six more points (79-73) and four more first-place votes (7-3) than the second-place Jayhawks.

It marks the first time in school history that the Bears have been picked to win the conference and sets the stage for the two teams who battled it out for the 2019-20 title to deliver an encore performance during the upcoming season.

Kansas, which recently set an NCAA record with 14 consecutive regular season conference titles from 2005-18, has been picked to finish atop the Big 12 standings 19 times in the 25-year history of the conference.

In addition, KU has won 19 of the past 24 league titles, including last season’s title with a 17-1 record.

The Jayhawks’ only Big 12 loss during the 2019-20 season came to Baylor at home. And the Jayhawks got revenge for that setback with a win in Waco, Texas, later in the season, when the Bears were ranked No. 1 in the national polls.

Baylor finished the 2019-20 conference season two games behind Kansas at 15-3.

The league’s top two teams are scheduled for two more clashes this season, with KU traveling to Baylor on Jan. 18, 2021 for a Big Monday battle in Waco, and the Jayhawks hosting the Bears on Feb. 27, 2021 in the regular season finale for both teams.

Bob Huggins’ West Virginia squad was picked to finish in third place with 61 points, with Texas (58) and Texas Tech (53) rounding out the top five.

Oklahoma (39), Oklahoma State (35), Iowa State (19), TCU (18) and Kansas State (15) made up the bottom half of the preseason picks.

Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams, therefore each ballot consisted of just nine teams, with nine points going to first place, eight to second and so on down the line.

The Big 12 season is slated to open in mid-December, with all 10 teams playing two conference games before the end of the season.

KU will open at Texas Tech on Dec. 17 and will play host to West Virginia on Dec. 22 at Allen Fieldhouse.

The regular season is slated to begin Nov. 25.

2020-21 Big 12 Preseason Poll

1 – Baylor (7), 79

2 – Kansas (3), 73

3 – West Virginia, 61

4 – Texas, 58

5 – Texas Tech, 53

6 – Oklahoma, 39

7 – Oklahoma State, 35

8 – Iowa State, 19

9 – TCU, 18

10 – Kansas State, 15


Dale Rogers 1 month ago

Baylor will do very well until the last few games of the conference season when they will tank as they typically do.

Dirk Medema 1 month ago

It’s nice for the team to have the little extra motivation. Wasn’t it about a decade ago when every year was the latest greatest team to break the streak. Eventually, everyone just started saying, until you beat them, we’re picking KU #1. I’m looking forward to Marcus can lead.

Adam Bengtson 1 month ago

Dale, Ain’t that the truth....Scott Drew talent over past decade and still hasn’t won’t a league title. I’m bias but my goodness, Self clearly knows how to get teams to win without talent. Baylor doesn’t really have the NBA talent in roster and with limited crowds this year, talent will win in most places.
That win at Baylor last year shows at end of year Self will get this team to go away from home and win.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.