Baylor might still be known as a football school, but that program is a mess right now with all the off-field issues and coaching overhaul. It's time to call Baylor what it is: a basketball school. Both the men's and women's teams are No. 2 in the polls, and the men should rise to No. 1 on Monday -- thanks to Villanova's loss on Wednesday at Butler -- as long as the Bears can hold serve Saturday vs. Oklahoma State. Remember, that men's program was in deep trouble back in 2003 when Scott Drew was hired after one player murdered another and the head coach at the time, Dave Bliss, lied about it. Drew has done an amazing job and I'm still surprised no bigger basketball power has tried to lure him from Waco. Baylor has never been ranked No. 1.
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Boston College at No. 8 Duke (-24)
A 2 p.m. ET start with no national TV, which might be a first for a Duke ACC game. Boston College was just terrible last year, going winless in the ACC. But the Eagles are definitely better this season with a quality nonconference win over Providence and beating Syracuse handily in their ACC opener to snap a 20-game conference losing streak. Alas, asking for back-to-back ACC wins was too much as BC fell 79-66 at Wake Forest on Tuesday. The Deacons scored 14 unanswered points over a span of 3:40 to take a 56-45 lead with 10 minutes left in the game. BC shot just 36.2 percent overall and was 5-for-30 from long range.
Duke begins life for the next month or so without Coach Mike Krzyzewski as he was set to have back surgery on Friday. Coach K caused quite a national stir on Wednesday when he brought back Grayson Allen from his "indefinite" suspension that lasted all of one game. That's patently ridiculous. But clearly Coach K wasn't going to suspend Allen for a month and he wasn't going to let interim coach Jeff Capel deal with all the media headaches for when Allen returned. So Krzyzewski fell on the sword, so to speak. The Blue Devils responded with their best game of the season, a 110-57 destruction of Georgia Tech. Allen had 15 points and seven assists. It was the first time Duke reached triple digits in an ACC game since 2009. Duke won by 17 at BC last year in the lone meeting.
Key trends: The Eagles are 4-13 against the spread in their past 17 road games . The Blue Devils are 1-6 ATS in their past seven vs. the ACC. BC is 0-4 ATS in the past four meetings.
I'm leaning: BC as Duke might be looking ahead to No. 12 FSU on Tuesday.
Tennessee at No. 24 Florida ( -12 )
SEC matchup at 5:15 p.m. ET on ESPN2. I don't think Florida will ever win back-to-back National Championships again, but the Gators program might be back as an SEC contender and NCAA Tournament team -- UF hasn't made the Big Dance since 2014. Florida had solid nonconference wins over Seton Hall and Miami and close losses to Gonzaga and Florida State. Florida enters this one on a four-game winning streak after beating visiting Ole Miss 70-63 on Tuesday. Graduate transfer Canyon Barry, the son of Hall of Famer Rick Barry, tied a season high with 20 points off the bench. The Gators could look rather unusual for this one amidst reports they will debut all-black uniforms. They are sharp.
The Vols are 8-6 overall but have basically lost to every good team they have played, including Tuesday at home vs. Arkansas, 82-78. Robert Hubbs III bounced back from a season-low six points vs. Texas A&M with 21 vs. the Hogs. Freshman Grant Williams had his first career double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. But Tennessee shot 39.1 percent compared to 50 percent for Arkansas. Also, UT is likely going to be without forward John Fulkerson the rest of the season it was learned this week. The 6-foot-7 freshman averaged 4.7 points and 4.6 rebounds in 10 games before breaking his wrist. He could still redshirt. Tennessee beat Florida 83-69 in the lone meeting last year.
Key trends: The Vols are 6-0 ATS in their past six road games. The Gators are 7-2 ATS in their past nine at home. The home team is 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings.
I'm leaning: Florida.
Oklahoma State at No. 2 Baylor (-12)
Big 12 game at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNEWS. The Cowboys entered conference play at 10-2 but have started 0-2 in the Big 12 -- for the first time in a decade -- following an 82-79 loss at Texas on Wednesday. Oklahoma State led 39-37 at halftime but a Longhorns' 15-0 run gave Texas a 61-50 lead with 11:32 remaining in the game. OSU closed the gap to a single point with 6:57 remaining on a Phil Forte free throw, but that was as close as the Cowboys came. Jeffrey Carroll scored a career-high 24 points in the loss. Forte entered the night with the national lead in free-throw percentage with a clip of 97.8 percent but did miss one to end a streak of 25 in a row.
Baylor, the only unbeaten left along with Gonzaga, survived at home vs. Iowa State on Wednesday, 65-63. Manu Lecomte hit the winning baseline jumper with 8.6 seconds left. ISU guard Monte Morris came up short on a similar baseline jumper over Ishmail Wainright as the buzzer sounded. The Cyclones didn't score in the final 2:20. Johnathan Motley, one of the Big 12's best players, posted his third straight double-double and fifth of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds for Baylor, which wasn't even ranked in the preseason Top 25 (not even a single vote). Baylor was 2-0 vs. Oklahoma State last season and has won nine of the past 10 at home in the series.
Key trends: OSU us 2-7 ATS in its past nine vs. the Big 12. Baylor is 7-1 ATS in its past eight. OSU is 1-8-1 ATS in its past 10 at Baylor.
I'm leaning: Baylor.
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