By Jeff Goodman
LAWRENCE, Kansas -- There were those prepared to anoint Baylor as a national championship contender if Scott Drew's Bears could remain undefeated with a victory at Phog Allen.
This was the ultimate test for a team that had beaten Kansas State in Manhattan and waltzed into Lawrence with a 18-0 mark. Instead, it was Bill Self's Kansas squad, one that was basically written off as a Final Four contender after a loss to Davidson down the road in Kansas City, that showed it may have a shot to do something come March.
Self has, at the moment, the nation's top player in Thomas Robinson. Unlike earlier in the season when he forced the issue and attempted to do too much in a loss to Kentucky, the 6-foot-9 sophomore was spectacular against a Baylor frontline that is as deep and talented as any that doesn't reside in Lexington, Ky.
But the difference on Monday night was the play of senior point guard Tyshawn Taylor.
Taylor has been an enigma throughout his entire career, but he was fearless in Monday night's 92-74 victory, knocking down clutch 3-pointers and also attacking the Bears big men with determination.
Robinson finished with 27. Taylor did him one better, scoring 28 points, while three other Jayhawks -- Jeff Withey, Travis Releford and Elijah Johnson -- all finished in double-figures.
There's no shame in losing at Phog Allen. It's a brutal place to play, right there with Cameron and Rupp. It happens to just about everyone -- and fourth-ranked Baylor became the latest victim.
However, the concern with the Bears is toughness - or lack thereof. And Drew's team didn't show itself all that well in that regard. Kansas imposed its will on Baylor, dominating the Bears on the glass and scoring virtually at will on a porous defense. Perry Jones III, along with most of his teammates, pulled a disappearing act after the first 15 minutes of the game.
Baylor has fallen and now just two unbeaten teams remain: Syracuse and Murray State.