No. 2 Baylor Men’s Basketball Demolishes No. 6 Villanova

Baylor beats Villanova
Photo credit: Baylor Athletics

Remember back in April when the Baylor Men’s Basketball team won their first ever National Championship with arguably their best team in program history? Somehow after losing four of their best athletes to graduation and/or the 2021 NBA Draft (read about Jared Butler, Davion Mitchell, MaCio Teague, and Mark Vital), the No. 2 Bears (9-0, 0-0) showed today in their complete demolition of No. 6 Villanova (7-3, 0-0) that they could be even faster and more talented than last season’s national champion squad. Today’s 57-36 romping showed critics exactly who should be the new No. 1 team in tomorrow’s rankings after current No. 1 Purdue lost to Rutgers in a deep 3 point buzzer beater on Thursday. In the Big East-Big 12 matchup, the Bears held Villanova to their fewest points in head coach Jay Wright’s tenure and the Wildcats’ lowest since 1979. Baylor head coach Scott Drew claimed Villanova was ranked No. 4 in the country on offense while Baylor came in at No. 6, but today’s game was undoubtedly about defenses. Baylor’s defense last year was consistently mentioned as being one of the best in the league, but I haven’t seen such suffocation in my years of watching basketball. Just like Dick Vitale remarked during the game, the Bears were so fast and overpowering that it looked like we were watching 6 on 5 basketball. The Bears crushed Villanova star Collin Gillespie who appeared visibly frustrated halfway through the challenge and finished with only 6 points. The Wildcats’ total offense shot just 22.2% (12-54) of both field goals and 3 pointers (6-27) and notched more turnovers (13) than field goals by the end of the game. Baylor didn’t perform well on offense either, but shot 39.3% (22-56) of field goals and 25% (6-24) of 3s. The Bears recorded 12 assists and 7 steals and outscored the Wildcats on bench points (24 to Villanova’s 6). Baylor G James Akinjo led the team with 16 points and G Adam Flagler followed with 10. The (hopefully) No. 1 Bears will have a week-long break before challenging Oregon (5-4) in Eugene on Saturday at 9 p.m. (CT)!