Jon Rothstein reported it the other day, and on Thursday, the Big East made it official: YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles will be hosting Baylor as part of the 2022 iteration of the Big East/Big 12 Battle.
Certainly better than seeing Kansas State for the third time in four years, huh?
As you can see from the graphic there, Baylor/Marquette will be the first game of the series this season, coming on Tuesday, November 29th. Here’s the rest of the schedule before we dive into the MU/BU particulars.
Wednesday, November 30
Thursday, December 1
Saturday, December 3
Sunday, December 4
I have many serious concerns about why Georgetown gets to participate in this series. I feel if you finish dead last in the league because you ended the season with 21 straight losses, you don’t get to play in the fancy inter-conference series. Imagine being a DePaul fan and watching your team get excluded from this for the second straight year after UConn joined the league because some dingbat thinks people are going to tune into watch Texas Tech absolutely murder Georgetown for 40 minutes.
a n y w a y
This will be the third all time meeting between Marquette and Baylor. The two teams played a home-and-home series in 1998 and 1999 with both teams winning at home. Marquette won the first meeting, 74-64, while the Bears won 72-68 in overtime the following year. Here’s how long ago that was: That was the last year of Harry Miller and the first year of Dave Bliss running the show in Waco, and that’s the last time we’ll mention Dave Bliss.
Scott Drew is the head coach of Baylor these days, and, well, things are going really well for him. Next season will be his 20th year in charge of the Bears, and they have been an elite powerhouse over the last three seasons. While Drew hasn’t had a sub-40 KenPom team since finishing at #80 in 2011, Baylor has been a top five KenPom team in each of the past three campaigns and if there had been a 2020 NCAA tournament, Baylor would be coming off three straight #1 seeds.
Flipping over to T-Rank because preseason projections are already up over there, uh, well, the Bears project to be the best team in the country heading into next season. LJ Cryer looks to be the leading scorer, while Flo Thamba projects as the team’s leading rebounder and Adam Flagler has a narrow lead in the projections in assists. Cryer missed the last eight games of the season and 13 of the last 14 due to stress fractures in both feet, but he had surgery back in March and the expectation is that he’ll be totally healthy in November. Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua suffered a knee injury in mid-February and missed the rest of the season. We’ll have to wait and see how his rehab goes to see if he’ll be ready to go by Thanksgiving.
By the way: I think this scheduling item is incredibly complimentary for Marquette and where the Golden Eagles are heading in Shaka Smart’s second season. Think about it: Baylor is a premiere national power. The Big 12 doesn’t want to pass them off on Georgetown, they want a game that’s going to be compelling for the Bears. Plus, this is a road game for Baylor, which lends a little bit extra edge to Marquette when it comes to picking a winner here. With that said, Shaka Smart went just 2-10 against Scott Drew in the years that they overlapped in the Big 12, so we’ll call that an edge for the visitors in this one.
The start time for this game will be finalized down the road when Fox puts the full television schedule for the Big East together. It will be a Fox Sports broadcast though, as they have the rights to Marquette home games.