MORGANTOWN, West Virginia, Sporting Alert – No. 1 Baylor will take the court for the first time since becoming the top-ranked team in the country when they visit on No. 10 West Virginia on Tuesday night at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown.
The game will be televised live on ESPN2 with live stream on WatchESPN. Tip-off time is at 7 p.m.
The Bears (15-0, 3-0 Big 12) stayed perfect this season with a 61-57 victory against Oklahoma State on Saturday night and it saw them replacing Villanova atop the AP Top 25 rankings after the Wildcats suffered their first defeat of the season last week.
It is the first time in program history Baylor, which began the season unranked, is No. 1 in the AP rankings but head coach Scott Drew isn’t getting too carried away.
Drew said being No. 1 in the country is great, but winning the Big 12 and the national titles are still the main focus.
The Mountaineers (13-2, 2-1 Big 12) are coming off an 82-70 win over TCU on Saturday, as they were recovering from the upset defeat in overtime to Texas Tech in the previous game.
West Virginia is scoring 90.1 points per game, which is 5th in the country and is 9-0 at home this season, but both categories could be tested tonight.
The home side, in fact, could find it a bit difficult to reach their scoring average against a Baylor defense that is only giving away 58.3 points to opponents, which is 4th in the nation.
“They’re so long. That’s the biggest thing,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said.
“It makes that zone good when you can pretty much touch hands across the floor you’re going to cover some ground and they cover a lot of ground.”
The Mountaineers have three players scoring in double figures this season, with Esa Ahmad at 12.9 points, Daxter Miles Jr. at 11.1 and Jevon Carter at 10.5 leading the way.
Junior forward Johnathan Motley, who is ranked fourth in scoring and second in rebounding in the Big 12, leads the Bears with 15.8 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.
Next comes Manu Lecomte with 11.8 points, while Al Freeman is at 11.1 and Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. is scoring 10.7 points and pulling down 7.1 assists and is No. 1 in blocks per game in the Big 12, with 3.5.
It will be the seventh time a No. 1 team was visiting the Coliseum.
The other occasions were in 1983 (UNLV), 1988 (Temple), 1995 (Massachusetts), 1999 (Connecticut), 2006 (Connecticut) and Kansas last year.
West Virginia swept the regular season series 2-0 against Baylor last season.