No. 1 Baylor Upset by Unranked Oklahoma State for 2nd Straight Loss in Big 12 Action

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 16, 2022

WACO, TX - JANUARY 15: Bryce Thompson #1 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys goes up for a break away slam dunk as LJ Cryer #4 of the Baylor Bears looks on in the first half at the Ferrell Center on January 15, 2022 in Waco, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

For the second time in the past five days, the No. 1 Baylor Bears men's basketball team has lost. 

Oklahoma State stunned the defending champions on Saturday 61-54 at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas, behind strong performances from Bryce Thompson (19 points) and Bryce Williams (nine points, six assists).  

OSU Cowboy Basketball @OSUMBB

WETTER THAN WATER ☔️<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NewEra?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NewEra</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/B3thompson__?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@B3thompson__</a> <a href="https://t.co/mZVeOl2oEN">pic.twitter.com/mZVeOl2oEN</a>

OSU Cowboy Basketball @OSUMBB

oh... oh my 😳<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NewEra?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NewEra</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/B3thompson__?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@B3thompson__</a> <a href="https://t.co/SvC0ku3nrB">pic.twitter.com/SvC0ku3nrB</a>

OSU Cowboy Basketball @OSUMBB

HE'S LIKE THAT 😤<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NewEra?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NewEra</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/B3thompson__?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@B3thompson__</a> <a href="https://t.co/RkZhsl5wpQ">pic.twitter.com/RkZhsl5wpQ</a>

That spoiled big evenings from LJ Cryer (18 points) and Matthew Mayer (16 points, five rebounds). And it likely put an end to Baylor's spot atop the rankings, which it has held for the past five weeks after starting the season with 15 straight wins. 

But No. 19 Texas Tech put an end to the streak with Tuesday's 65-62 win over the Bears. And then Oklahoma State shockingly handed Baylor its second straight loss at home and the first two-game losing streak for the school since the 2018-19 season. 

It didn't come easy. Despite leading by as many as 18 points in the first half and by as many as 14 points in the second half, the Cowboys saw the Bears cut the deficit to just one with a minute and 20 seconds remaining. 

But Baylor couldn't get any closer, with multiple turnovers down the stretch. Oklahoma State hit its free throws and left Waco with the win. 

When it came to being upset, Baylor was at least in good company on Saturday:

Gary Parrish @GaryParrishCBS

It’s been a wild Saturday (and we’re still not done).<br><br>No. 1 Baylor loses at home to unranked Oklahoma State. No. 10 Michigan State loses at home to unranked Northwestern. No. 12 LSU loses at home to unranked Arkansas (minus Muss).

Anytime the top team in the country loses, it's a major story. But doing so at home, against an unranked team, only adds to the tale. 

Pat Forde @ByPatForde

Baylor losing at home to Texas Tech was a mild surprise. Baylor losing at home to Oklahoma State is a shock.

But Oklahoma State is quite the story in its own right.

The school is banned from postseason play this season following former associate head coach Lamont Evans pleading guilty in January 2019 to a charge of conspiring to commit bribery after accepting over $22,000 in bribes for steering players to financial and business advisors. Other penalties include a reduced number of scholarships, recruiting restrictions and a three-year probationary period.

That was part of a larger FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball. 

Oklahoma State appealed the punishment and participated in postseason play last year while the appeal was pending, though it was ultimately denied and the punishments were upheld.

Those circumstances could have easily left these Cowboys feeling ambivalent about the 2021-22 season. But despite some struggles this season, they've continued to fight. 

Matt Norlander @MattNorlander

Baylor goes from 21 straight wins to back-to-back home losses. Frankly, it’s stunning. <br><br>Oklahoma State was 8-7 coming into today and playing its third game in six days.<br><br>It’s the first time Scott Drew’s program has taken consecutive Ls at home since February 2014.

Jeff Goodman @GoodmanHoops

Oklahoma State gets its first win against a No. 1 team since 2010. <br><br>It’s a shame that this Cowboys team didn’t have an opportunity to compete for an NCAA tourney bid.

Jon Rothstein @JonRothstein

Mike Boynton and Oklahoma State have been dealt a tough hand this season.<br><br>It didn't stop their collective focus today.<br><br>An incredible victory for the Cowboys' program in Waco. <a href="https://t.co/7jZ27T59ze">https://t.co/7jZ27T59ze</a>

Myron Medcalf @MedcalfByESPN

Those Oklahoma State boys are still fighting for Mike Boynton, those fans and their school after everything that was taken from them. You gotta admire that.

On Saturday, they took that fight to the top team in the nation and left with arguably the biggest upset of the men's college basketball season.