The Baylor Men’s Basketball team was dealt the worst COVID blow of probably any team in the country as they were forced to postpone five games in the middle of conference play and just as they were hitting their stride. The team is arguably one of the best cohesive units in Baylor history, which made their indefinite pause feel even lengthier and more season-defining. Of course the Bears haven’t truly struggled against any team throughout the entirety of the 2020-2021 season (they’ve beaten every opponent by at least eight points!), but their position at No. 2 always feels precarious as most voters don’t like any part of Baylor Athletics. Only a couple weeks ago did the athletics department postpone five games—one against each TCU, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech, and two against West Virginia—because of COVID regulations, and the Bears seemed like they were on the fast track to destruction after coming back from the three week hiatus. Thankfully even those few weeks without practice and a killer midseason hiatus couldn’t stop Baylor from erasing multiple double digit Cyclone leads to put them back in the running for top spot. Although Iowa State has one of the worst records in the Big 12 (which is ironic considering the Big 12 has most of the best teams in the country), they initially played well against a struggling Baylor unit that was down up to 17 points in the first half. The Bears’ starting five—MaCio Teague, Jared Butler, Davion Mitchell, Flo Thamba, and Mark Vital—each played a crucial part in the Bears coming back from their point deficit to take the game 77-72 (their tightest win so far) and make their best start in school history with an 18-0 record. My favorite Papa Jerry Hill of Baylor Athletics wrote in his recap of the game “With only four games remaining in a revised schedule released by the conference office earlier Tuesday, the Bears took a big step toward winning their first-ever Big 12 title. Leading No. 10/13 West Virginia (16-6, 9-4) by four games in the loss column, they need to win just one of their last four to clinch the regular-season championship, which will be determined by winning percentages.” Baylor has four more games on the schedule: No. 17/19 Kansas at 7 p.m. Saturday in Lawrence and No. 10/13 West Virginia at 4 p.m. March 2, in Morgantown with the last two being against Oklahoma State on March 4 and Texas Tech on March 7. Here’s hoping even after the hiatus the Bears can earn at least one more win to capture their first ever Big 12 title!