As I projected on Saturday , Baylor has risen to the No. 1 spot in the polls for the first time in school history and it is just the second team in the past 25 years (2009-10 Syracuse) to reach No. 1 after being unranked in the preseason. The Bears might not want to get too comfortable there as they visit No. 10 West Virginia on Tuesday night. Over the past 10 years, seven other schools (Villanova, Gonzaga, Texas, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Wisconsin) earned the No. 1 ranking for their first time ever like Baylor. And the longest winning streak for those first-time No. 1s was just four games. Baylor is the 59th school to be ranked No. 1 since the poll started in the 1948-49 season. The Bears are 6-point underdogs at WVU.
Auburn at Missouri (+3)
A 7 p.m. ET tip on the SEC Network. Auburn will be without good-looking freshman guard Danjel Purifoy for a while after he suffered a high-ankle sprain in Saturday's 88-85 loss to Ole Miss. Purifoy, who entered the game second on the team with 14.2 points and 6.0 rebounds, had six points and three rebounds before coming out with 7:12 to go in the first half. Auburn had a couple of good nonconference wins over Oklahoma and UConn but has started SEC play at 0-3 following the loss to the Rebels. T.J. Lang missed the tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Missouri's program is a total mess, and I doubt Coach Kim Anderson is brought back next year. The Tigers dropped their sixth straight on Saturday , 71-66 at Georgia. And assistant coach Steve Shields embarrassed the program by fighting with Georgia's director of operations Kevin Davison right before halftime after some players were in a bit of a skirmish. To be fair to Shields, video did appear to show that Davison put his hands on Missouri player Trevor Glassman. Shields went in to defend Davison. Sophomore guard Terrence Phillips led Missouri, which was up six at halftime, in scoring for the second time this season with 20 points. Mizzou tied a season high with 10 steals. Missouri won the lone meeting with Auburn last year 76-61.
Key trends: Auburn is 0-6 against the spread in its past six vs. the SEC. Missouri is 8-3-1 ATS in its past 12 vs. the SEC. The road team is 3-1-1 ATS in the past five meetings.
I'm leaning: Missouri.
No. 15 Xavier at No. 3 Villanova (-7)
Big East matchup on Fox Sports 1 at 7 p.m. ET. Xavier will welcome back one of its best players from last season in guard Myles Davis, who has been reinstated following a 15-game suspension for some off-the-court issues. He averaged 10.8 points and 4.1 assists last year in starting all 33 games. Xavier is the only team without a loss in Big East play. It improved to 3-0 in the conference with a 97-82 home win over St. John's on Saturday. Edmond Sumner led the team with 20 points. Kaiser Gates had a career high with 17 points as Musketeers' bench outscored the Johnnies' 36-13. The 97 team points were a season high.
Villanova dropped out of the top spot in the polls thanks to a loss at Butler last Wednesday. .The Wildcats bounced back from that with a 93-81 victory over Marquette on Saturday. Villanova made 14 3-pointers (after hitting only 5-for-20 vs. Butler), shot a season-high 65.3 percent overall and has not lost two straight games since 2013. Kris Jenkins led the way with 23 points. Villanova leads the all-time series with Xavier 22-5. The teams split last year, each winning at home. Last February in Cincinnati, they played a great matchup between Top 5 teams, a 90-83 Musketeers victory.
Key trends: Xavier is 4-1 ATS in its past five vs. the Big East. Villanova is 3-7 ATS in its past 10 at home vs. teams with a winning road record. The Musketeers are 1-6 ATS in the past seven meetings.
I'm leaning: Villanova.
No. 7 Duke at No. 9 Florida State (-1)
ACC matchup with no national TV (WatchESPN though). I don't want to say with certainty that Duke knucklehead Grayson Allen tried to trip another player in the Blue Devils' 93-82 win over Boston College on Saturday, but he might have done so. The play in question occurred in the first half when Allen extended his left leg while trying to fight through a screen set by Boston College's Connar Tava. The ACC felt it necessary to release a statement afterward: "there is nothing conclusive that can be determined" as to whether Allen intentionally made contact with an Eagles player using his leg or foot. So he won't face any discipline from the conference. But if this guy trips another player on purpose, he should never be allowed to play for Duke again. Sad, because Allen's a good player. Against BC, he had 12 points, five rebounds, 11 assists and three steals. That was Duke's first game since losing Coach Mike Krzyzewski for about a month to back surgery.
FSU will catch a break here in that Duke will be without big man Amile Jefferson after suffering a bone bruise in his foot vs. Boston College. This bruise is in the same foot that he broke last season, and that injury cost him the final three months of the season. Jefferson averages 13.6 points and a team-best 10.1 rebounds. Florida State tied a school record with its 11th straight win Saturday, 83-78 over No. 21 Virginia Tech. This team is legit and is 3-0 in the ACC for the first time ever. The Noles already have three victories over ranked teams (back-to-back for first time since 2012 ACC Tournament), also winning at Virginia and against Florida. This is FSU's highest ranking since Feb. 28, 1993 when the Seminoles were ranked sixth in the country. Duke won the lone meeting last year 80-65 at home.
Key trends: Duke is 1-7 ATS in its past eight vs. the ACC. FSU is 6-1 ATS in its past seven in the conference.
I'm leaning: FSU.
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