Baylor Bears Ranked No. 1 in Top 25 Poll For First Time
The Baylor Bears are No. 1 in The Associated Press men’s basketball poll for the first time in school history after receiving 55 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel on Monday.
The Bears (15-0) didn’t even receive a vote in the preseason poll is the 59th school to be ranked No. 1 since the poll started in the 1948-49 season. They will try and hold on to their No. 1 spot this week when they take on West Virginia Tuesday and Kansas State on Saturday.
The Bears have multiple wins over ranked opponents: Oregon (No. 4 at the time) Xavier (No. 7 then), No. 10 Louisville and No. 24 Michigan State.
Head coach Scott Drew was on ESPN’s podcast Courtside on Monday:
“I think it goes to your body of work,” Drew said. “We’ve played a very competitive schedule and we’ve been successful against well-coached and good teams. At this point, and with every poll you could argue about several different teams, with our top 25 wins and top 50 RPI wins and the fact we haven’t lost yet, then yes, you can definitely make a case for the Baylor Bears.”
Villanova, which received one first-place vote, had been No. 1 for the last five weeks, but the Wildcats (15-1) dropped to third after losing at Butler last week. The Kansas Jayhawks (14-1) moved up to second and the UCLA Bruins (16-1) stayed in fourth.
Gonzaga Bulldogs (15-0) and Kentucky Wildcats remained fifth and sixth, while Duke, Creighton, Florida State and West Virginia rounded out the top 10.
North Carolina sits at 11th followed by Butler, Oregon, Louisville, Xavier, Arizona, Purdue, Wisconsin, Virginia and Notre Dame.
The last ranked teams are Saint Mary’s, Cincinnati, Florida and Minnesota, with Kanas State and Southern California tied for 25th.