The Bears should hold the top spot into 2022.
That's because Baylor only has one game on the schedule this week — specifically a home contest against Alcorn State on Monday night. So barring something that would go on the list of "biggest upsets in college basketball history," the Bears will also be No. 1 in next Monday's AP poll. After that comes a game against Northwestern State (on Dec. 28) that should be similarly simple, which means the Bears likely won't be at risk of losing their first game of the season at least until they play Iowa State inside Hilton Coliseum on New Year's Day.
That will be an awesome scene, by the way.
Barring a (big) surprise, Baylor will be 12-0 on that day; Iowa State should also be 12-0. So we could have a Big 12 opener between two nationally ranked undefeated teams on the first day of 2022 — plus West Virginia at Texas, Villanova at Seton Hall, and Duke at Notre Dame. That's a fun way to start the year.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Baylor obviously remains No. 1 in Monday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. According to KenPom.com, the Bears aren't currently projected to be underdogs in any game until they play at Kansas on Feb. 5 thanks to an adjusted efficiency margin of +29.58, which is at least 2.89 points higher than every other Big 12 school.
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Top 25 And 1 rankings
|James Akinjo finished with 17 points and six assists in Saturday's 78-70 win at Oregon. The Bears' next game is Monday against Alcorn State.||--||16-5|
|Paolo Banchero finished with 12 points and nine rebounds in Saturday's 87-56 win over Elon. The Blue Devils' next game is Wednesday against Virginia Tech.||--||15-6|
|Jamie Jaquez finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds in a 67-56 win at Marquette on Dec.11. The Bruins are currently on a COVID pause.||--||17-4|
|Jaden Ivey finished with 22 points and five rebounds in Saturday's 77-48 win over Butler. The Boilermakers' next game is Monday against Icarnate Word.||--||20-1|
|Andrew Nembhard finished with 16 points and six assists in Saturday's 69-55 win over Texas Tech. The Zags' next game is Monday against Northern Arizona.||--||18-4|
|Azuolas Tubelis finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists in Saturday's 84-60 win over California Baptist. The Wildcats' next game is Wednesday at Tennessee.||--||19-3|
|Christian Braun finished with 21 points and six rebounds in Saturday's 80-72 win over Stephen F. Austin. The Jayhawks' next game is Tuesday at Colorado.||--||17-4|
|Gabe Brown finished with 15 points and five rebounds in Saturday's 80-64 win over Penn State. The Spartans' next game is Tuesday against Oakland.||--||14-7|
|Keon Ellis finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds in Saturday's 65-59 win over Jacksonville State. The Crimson Tide's next game is Tuesday against Davidson.||--||18-3|
|Walker Kessler finished with 19 points and nine rebounds in Saturday's 74-70 win at Saint Louis. The Tigers' next game is Wednesday against Murray State.||--||16-5|
|Boogie Ellis finished with 16 points and seven rebounds in Saturday's 67-53 win over Georgia Tech. The Trojans' next game is Tuesday against Oklahoma State.||--||15-6|
|Izaiah Brockington finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds in Sunday's 77-54 wn over Southeastern Louisiana. The Cyclones' next game is Tuesday against Chicago State.||--||15-5|
|Jamal Shead finished with 18 points and eight assists in Saturday's 72-61 win over Oklahoma State. The Cougars' next game is Wednesday against Texas State.||--||20-2|
|Texas Tech finished with three more turnovers than assists in Saturday's 69-55 loss to Gonzaga. The Red Raiders' next game is Wednesday against Eastern Washington.||--||11-10|
|Kennedy Chandler finished with 15 points, 10 assists and five rebounds in Tuesday's 96-52 win over South Carolina Upstate. The Vols' next game is Wednesday against Arizona.||--||18-3|
|E.J. Liddell finished with 28 points and nine rebounds in a 73-55 win over Wisconsin on Dec 11. The Badgers are currently on a COVID pause.||--||11-10|
|Bryce Aiken finished with 22 points and three assists in Sunday's 77-63 win over Rutgers. The Pirates are currently on a COVID pause.||--||13-9|
|Tari Eason finished with 21 points and eight rebounds in Saturday's 66-57 win over Louisiana Tech. The Tiigers' next game is Wednesday against Lipscomb.||--||12-9|
|Andrew Jones finished with 13 points and four rebounds in Sunday's 60-53 win over Stanford. The Longhorns' next game is Wednesday against Alabama State.||--||17-4|
|Nate Johnson finished with 17 points and five rebounds in Saturday's 80-71 win over Marquette. The Musketeers' next game is Tuesday at Villanova. kentucky||--||17-5|
|David Roddy finished with 19 points and seven rebounds in a 66-63 win over Mississippi State on Dec. 11. The Rams are currently on a COVID pause.||--||10-12|
|Sahvir Wheeler finished with 26 points and eight assists in Saturday's 98-69 win over North Carolina. The Wildcats' next game is Dec. 29 against Missouri.||--||14-7|
|A.J. Reeves finished with 16 points and three rebounds in Saturday's 57-53 win at UConn. The Friars' next game is Wednesday against Georgetown.||--||16-5|
|Villanova missed 19 of the 23 3-pointers it attempted in Friday's 79-59 loss at Creighton. The Wildcats' next game is Tuesday against Xavier.||--||10-10|
|Brad Davison finished with 19 points and two assists in Wednesday's 71-68 win over Nicholls. The Badgers' next game is Thursday against Morgan State.||--||12-8|
|Braden Norris finished with 18 points and nine assists in a 69-58 victory at Vanderbilt on Dec. 10. The Ramblers are currently on a COVID pause.||--||7-13|