ESPN's Big Monday provided the second-ranked (Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today coaches' polls released Monday) Kansas Jayhawks a televised global stage to silence the critics (for the next few days, anyway).
Taking full advantage of a scorching 79.30 percent first-half FG shooting performance (62.50 percent overall) and needing a stellar road performance, the 'Hawks pasted the host Baylor Bears 85-65 in front of the largest crowd (10,596) in Ferrell Center history.
Kansas' (18-0/3-0) pursuit of a seventh consecutive Big 12 Conference regular season title appeared tenuous (at best) after Saturday's less than impressive second-half comeback win vs. Nebraska (63-60) at Allen Fieldhouse.
Heading to a possible ambush in Waco with the stinging thoughts of being labeled "the worst 17-0 team in college basketball," the Jayhawks put on a dazzling display of offensive firepower, outrebounded the hosts (27-19) and forced 18 Bear turnovers.
With the Texas Longhorns (No. 10 AP/No. 11 ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll) visiting Allen Fieldhouse this upcoming Saturday for a 3:00 pm tip followed up by the final Big 12 Conference visit to Boulder next Tuesday (Jan. 25) in a demanding road test vs. the Colorado Buffaloes, the Jayhawks appear in a favorable position to continue to prove themselves worthy to their doubters.
Kansas scoring: Marcus Morris (25 points) and twin brother Markieff (19 points), Josh Selby (12 points), Tyrel Reed (11 points), Mario Little (10 points) Tyshawn Taylor (six points) and Thomas Robinson (two points).
Baylor scoring: Perry Jones III (20 points), Anthony Jones (17 points), LaceDarius Dunn (13 points), A.J. Walton (nine points), Quincy Acy (four points) and J'mison Morgan (two points).