Baylor back from pause, resumes bid for undefeated season


Baylor is back in its bid for an undefeated season.

It will not be a simple return.

The No. 2 Bears return from a prolonged COVID-19 pause this week with three video games in 5 days.

Baylor returns to the court docket for the primary time in three weeks Tuesday in opposition to Iowa State. The Bears have a day to prepare for No. 10 West Virginia, and play once more two days later at No. 17 Kansas.

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“I’d like to believe that we’re going to pick up where we left off,” Baylor junior guard Jared Butler mentioned. “It’s going to be a little hard in the first few minutes just to get our wind back, but I think ultimately, we’re going to get back in our groove.”

Baylor overcame an earlier coronavirus pause to maintain profitable, matching top-ranked Gonzaga as Division I’s solely undefeated groups.

The Bears (17-0, 9-0 Big 12) needed to pause after beating No. 14 Texas on Feb. 2, forcing the postponement of six straight video games. Baylor has misplaced eight video games to COVID-19 altogether.

The opening recreation in opposition to Iowa State ought to permit the Bears to ease back into the movement of dwell video games. The Hawkeyes are 2-16 and 0-13 in Big 12 video games.

It will get a complete lot more durable after that.

West Virginia moved back into the highest 10 this after beating Texas final week and is among the hardest-playing groups in faculty basketball.

The Bears then should play in one of many recreation’s hardest street venues, Allen Fieldhouse.

They’re additionally catching the Jayhawks at a foul time. After struggling final month to drop out of the AP Top 25 for the primary time in 232 weeks, Kansas has has received 5 straight, together with over No. 18 Texas Tech and then-No. 23 Oklahoma State.

The Jayhawks might be coming off a recreation in opposition to No. 14 Texas on Thursday.

“Seeing everybody else play, I kind of feel like I’ve been missing out,” Butler mentioned. “What do you call it when your parents punish you and you can’t go outside and play with your friends? That’s what it’s been feeling like.”

TOP 10 BIG TEN

No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 Ohio State performed one of many season’s finest video games on Saturday, a 92-87 Wolverines’ win.

Both groups have one other top-10 recreation this week, in opposition to the identical opponent no much less.

Michigan (16-1, 11-1 Big Ten) faces No. 9 Iowa on Thursday in what’s certain to be one other high-level recreation. The Wolverines additionally face Indiana on Saturday.

The Buckeyes play struggling Michigan State on Thursday, then host the Hawkeyes on Sunday.

Both might be must-watch video games.

TIDE TITLE?

No. 9 Alabama has an opportunity this week to do one thing it hasn’t achieved in 19 years: clinch the Southeastern Conference regular-season title.

The Crimson Tide can clinch no less than a share of the title Wednesday at No. 20 Arkansas. The Razorbacks have been on a roll currently, transferring up 4 spots on this week’s ballot after stretching their profitable streak to 4 video games.

Alabama then performs at Mississippi State on Saturday within the rematch of an eight-point Crimson Tide win earlier this season.

UNDEFEATED ZAGS

Gonzaga’s bid for an undefeated season might shut this week, barring any additions to the schedule.

The Zags (22-0, 13-0 WCC) host Santa Clara on Thursday and Loyola Marymount on Saturday. Win these and Gonzaga will possible be the primary group to go wire to wire at No. 1 within the AP Top 25 since Kentucky in 2014-15.

The West Coast Conference event is scheduled to start out March 4 in Las Vegas. Gonzaga would be the high seed, so it will not begin till the semifinals on March 8.



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