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NCAA Basketball: Duke, Memphis, Michigan State rise in latest top 25 power rankings

Illinois v Purdue
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14. Baylor (12-2)

When they’ve been at their best this season, Baylor’s offensive has been explosive, with multiple 100-point efforts. The issue for the Bears is the nonconference schedule wasn’t exactly full of opportunities and did include a blowout loss to Michigan State back in December. They’ll use Big 12 play to prove they are still one of the elite programs and they at least got that off to a winning start.

Before conference play began, Baylor played one more game out of the Big 12, winning 98-79 over Cornell back on Tuesday night. Talented freshman JaKobe Walter led the charge with 23 points and 9 rebounds. The Bears then began Big 12 play with a test in their first road game of the season. They needed overtime for a 75-70 win at Oklahoma State, securing their 1-0 start in conference. RayJ Dennis led with 18 points while center Yves Missi (13 points, 10 rebounds) had a double-double.

This team spent much of the nonconference slate scoring a ton of points against inferior opposition but can now use the Big 12 slate to stockpile important wins. We’re sitting here in early January with Auburn their best win of the season, but that will certainly change for the Bears in the weeks ahead, especially if these new faces keep supplying the offense. Next week involves two home games against conference newcomers BYU and Cincinnati.