A brand-new Trib podcast, Top 25 Voter Pod — where we never mail it in — brings AP Top 25 poll voters and Baylor beat writers John Werner and Chad Conine together for an impromptu conversation about Big 12 hoops and all things college basketball with sports editor Brice Cherry.
Welcome to episode 8, where we're ready to dig into these topics:
• After 3 weeks out of service, the Baylor men returned to the court ... and played badly, but eventually emerged with a 77-72 win over last-place Iowa State. Was this a big surprise, given 3-week off?
• The Big 12 revamped its schedule, canceling Baylor's home game vs. WVU and sending BU on the road to Morgantown. Is that fair?
• Chad's favorite topic: Is Bob Huggins the best coach without a national championship?
• If Baylor ends up winning the Big 12 despite only playing 14 games instead of 18, will that hurt them in the national respect picture? Even though they played more road games and didn't get the Longhorns in Waco?
• How messed-up is this college basketball season, anyway?
• The Baylor Lady Bears are the driver's seat for their umpteenth Big 12 title, but with two losses, they're ranked No. 7 in the nation and some projections have them as a 3 seed in the tourney. Given their resume, do the defending national champs deserve to be ranked higher?
• To that point, does the Big 12's general lack of moxie hurt the Lady Bears, competition-wise?
• Bonus question: Charli Collier of Texas is the No. 1 player in a lot of WNBA mock drafts. Do you think the women's game trying to promote leaving school early in order to raise its profile? Good idea or not?
The State Department said Tuesday that it still pushing to have regular contact with WNBA star Brittney Griner, who has been detained in Russia for nearly three months. A consular official was able to meet with Griner last week, when her pre-trial detention in Russia was extended for one month. Griner has been detained since February, after vape cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis were allegedly found in her luggage at an airport in Moscow. The NBA also weighed in on the matter Tuesday. Commissioner Adam Silver says his league is also trying to bring Griner home.