Both No. 1 Baylor and No. 5 USC, the remaining undefeated Division I men’s basketball teams, suffered losses Tuesday night.
Baylor’s 21-game winning streak, which started last season, was snapped in a 65-62 loss to No. 19 Texas Tech in Waco, Texas. That result came shortly after USC fell at Stanford, 75-69.
The Red Raiders have been struggling with injuries and COVID-19 challenges in recent weeks. But Kevin McCullar, who had missed his team’s previous two games due to an ankle injury, returned against the Bears to score 12 points off the bench and was one of five double-digit scorers for Texas Tech. Adonis Arms stepped up and led the squad with 14 points.
“My ankle … I didn’t know if I was going to play until the beginning,” McCullar said after the game. “Coach said just be ready.”
Texas Tech again played without leading scorer Terrence Shannon Jr. (14.3 point per game), who missed his sixth consecutive game due to a back injury.
“Just a lot of determination and grit and character,” coach Mark Adams said. “Very proud of them and blessed to be their coach.”
Baylor had been the first defending champion since Duke in 2001-02 to be the last remaining unbeaten team in college basketball, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
The Bears quickly scored the game’s first nine points and had a 15-point lead late in the first half before things started to turn for Texas Tech, which cut its deficit to five at the break.
“You’ve got to give Texas Tech a lot of credit. I think the first 15 minutes we did a great job, and then the last five minutes of the first half they finished on a great run and had momentum,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “And then the second half they carried that momentum.”
Baylor entered Tuesday night’s game as the No. 1 overall seed in ESPN analyst Joe Lunardi’s projections. Lunardi tweeted afterward that the Bears would remain No. 1 overall.
Stanford’s 75-69 win over USC was held in a nearly empty arena due to COVID-19 protocols. The Cardinal had been paused for nearly three weeks but returned in their first game since Dec. 23 to beat a top-five USC squad. Harrison Ingram and Spencer Jones each scored 21 points for Stanford, which secured its first top-five win since 2007.
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