Around The Top 25: Jan. 20

Story posted January 20, 2022 in Sports, CommRadio by Nolan Wick

It’s been a wacky week in college basketball. Baylor, the reigning national champion, lost back-to-back games. Duke, meanwhile, lost by one point to Florida State in overtime. Plenty of things happened, so let’s break it down.

Bad News Bears

The weirdest and most important thing that happened this week is Baylor’s consecutive losses. Despite James Akinjo and Adam Flagler scoring 17 points, the 2021 national champions lost 65-62 against No. 18 Texas Tech, its first loss of the season.

Sure, most top teams will lose a game every once in a while, but the Bears followed up the Texas Tech loss by dropping another game. This time, it was a home loss against unranked Oklahoma State, raising questions about the team.

Baylor’s loss against the Red Raiders marked the last unbeaten team to lose. The back-to-back losses caused the Bears to drop four spots to the No. 5 spot. Baylor snapped its losing streak on Tuesday by defeating West Virginia.

Badgers Are Booming

Madison is extremely cold this time of year, but the No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers are red-hot right now, soaring up five spots in the latest AP Poll. The Badgers are first in the Big Ten, with a 6-1 conference record and their only loss being at Ohio State.

Wisconsin responded by recently beating Ohio State at home, while some other notable wins in January include Purdue and Iowa.

Perhaps the biggest reason for Wisconsin’s success this season is Johnny Davis. Davis, a sophomore guard from La Crosse, Wisconsin, leads the Badgers in four out of five categories and is currently averaging 22.1 points per game.

Duke Upset By Florida State

There are three things guaranteed; death, taxes, and Duke losing a weird game. Duke fans have once again been humbled following a 79-78 overtime loss to unranked Florida State in overtime in addition to the Miami loss earlier this month.

Duke fans should hope that the Blue Devils do not have to play any more games in Florida or against any Florida teams come March. All jokes aside, though, Duke cannot drop many more games like this if it is to get a good seed in March Madness.

It would be surprising if things did not turn out fine, given a talented roster featuring Paolo Banchero and, of course, the presence of Coach K.

USC Plummets

Yikes. Andy Enfield’s Trojans dropped 11 spots in this week’s AP Poll to No. 16. There’s an explanation for why Southern Cal dropped so far, as many of its games were recently postponed.

However, USC hasn’t helped itself very much, losing two of its last three games against Stanford and Oregon.

Fortunately for the Trojans, there are plenty of opportunities on their schedule to make up ground. USC has only three more games against ranked teams, with back-to-back games against Arizona and UCLA next month before playing one more game against the Bruins in March.

Nolan Wick is a first-year majoring in journalism. To contact him, email nhw5046@psu.edu.