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    Joe Sullivan | College Basketball

    Baylor’s going to be No. 1, but the Bears are not the best team

    WACO, TX - JANUARY 04: Nazareth Mitrou-Long #15 of the Iowa State Cyclones drives to the basket against Johnathan Motley #5 of the Baylor Bears in the first half at Ferrell Center on January 4, 2017 in Waco, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
    Getty Images
    Johnathan Motley (left) and Baylor are 14-0 entering Saturday’s game vs. Oklahoma State.

    Baylor has a chance to be the No. 1 team in the country. If the Bears can get past Oklahoma State (ESPNnews, 7 p.m.) Saturday for their 15th victory without a loss, they should move to the top of the Associated Press Top 25 poll for the first time in school history.

    With victories over Oregon, VCU, Michigan State, Louisville, and Xavier, they deserve it. It doesn’t mean they’re the best team in the country. They’ve played very well, but have only played one true road game. There are quite a few teams that are better than Baylor. Duke, Villanova, UCLA, Kansas, and Kentucky are better choices to win the national championship.

    For now, as long as they win Saturday, Baylor is No. 1. It might not last long; the Bears travel to West Virginia Tuesday. That will be the end of their winning streak.

    Other games I’d like to see this weekend



    Iona at Monmouth: Both teams are a tad disappointing (Iona 9-6, Monmouth 10-5). but this has become a heated rivalry in recent years. There was even a fight in the postgame handshake line. This will be just the same.

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    Rhode Island at Dayton: A critical A10 meeting between two of the three best teams in the league. Dayton has a distinct home-court advantage and Rhody’s been disappointing when not playing in the Ryan Center.

    Oakland at Valpo: These are the two best teams in the Horizon League, and one of them will be in the NCAA tournament.

    Kent State at Ohio: A key MAC game. Kent lost at Northeastern, but seems to have come to life with a victory at Texas and just the other night the Flashes went 32 for 32 at the free throw line to beat Ball State. It’s tough to win in the Athens of Ohio, however. The Bobcats are 8-0 at home.


    Pitt at Syracuse: Pitt has a significant victory over Virginia this week and is a surprising 12-3. Syracuse, of course, lost at BC and the Orange have been an enigma wrapped in a riddle. Pitt can make its case as a serious team in the ACC with a road victory here.


    UMass at VCU: The Minutemen’s season is at a critical point. They’re 0-2 in the Atlantic 10 and now face a VCU team that looks like it’s rounding into form. Then they have to play Dayton and Rhode Island. That looks like an 0-5 start.

    BC at Duke: OK, the Eagles can’t win, but it’s worth checking to see if there’s any difference with Jeff Capel coaching the Blue Devils while Coach K is out following back surgery.

    Virginia Tech at Florida State: Florida State’s victory at Virginia was highly impressive. Virginia Tech’s upset of Duke was too, except the Gobblers then got steamrolled at NC State. This is just a fact of life in the ACC. Tough games with unpredictable results are a daily occurrence.

    Creighton at Providence: The Friars had a nice win over Georgetown and are perfectly capable of pulling off an upset here.

    Clemson at Notre Dame: The Irish are better than I’ve given them credit for – the victory over Louisville told me that. I don’t expect them to slip up in this home game.


    Illinois at Indiana: The Hoosiers can’t possibly lose four in a row, right? Right?

    George Mason at Saint Bonaventure: Former Williams College coach Dave Paulsen has Mason on the move at 11-4. Winning a game in the middle of nowhere would thrust the Patriots toward the top of the A10.

    Vanderbilt at Alabama: Vandy is 8-6, Bama is 8-5; A win is critical for both teams. It figures to go down to the buzzer.

    Oregon at Washington State: Should be a rout … but wait a minute, WASU is 2-0 in the Pac 12 and playing at home. Nah, I’ll stop thinking like that.

    Texas Tech at Kansas: Tech just upset West Virginia, and the Red Raiders are playing well, but they can’t win at Allen Fieldhouse.

    NC State at North Carolina: Wolfpack freshman guard Dennis Smith Jr. had 29 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in a rout of Virginia Tech. He can engineer an upset in Chapel Hill.

    Cincinnati at Houston: The Bearcats are the best team in the American, but this is a dangerous game as Houston is definitely improved. Unfortunately, Phi Slamma Jamma’s old arena will probably be half empty.

    Saint Mary’s at San Francisco: A meeting between two 3-pointer shooting, entertaining teams. The one that makes the most threes will win.

    Nevada at New Mexico: A crucial Mountain West game. New Mexico cannot afford to lose this home game.


    Wisconsin at Purdue: The Badgers go for the Hoosier State sweep. A victory would put them in charge in the Big 10.

    Joe Sullivan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GlobeSullivan