Lawrence, Kan. — Baylor had spent more than five decades trying to win at Allen Fieldhouse.
The Bears had blown big leads and been blown out. They took in championship teams riding high and limped away feeling low. Their sense of confidence and optimism always was replaced by more disappointment and heartache.
All those years of angst made Saturday feel so much sweeter.
With dominant guard play from Jared Butler and MaCio Teague, a suffocating performance by the Big 12's best defense and plenty of answers whenever Kansas tried to make a second-half run, the fourth-ranked Bears thumped the No. 3 Jayhawks 67-55 for their first win in 18 tries on the hallowed hardwood of the Phog.
"This year, you know, we came in with the expectation to win, the expectation to do great things," said Butler, who finished with 22 points. "And it shows when you expect to win versus just trying to survive."
Teague added 16 points and Freddie Gillespie had 13 points for the Bears (13-1, 3-0 Big 12), who snapped a whole slew of ignominious streaks with their victory in Lawrence.
They beat a top-five team on the road for the first time in 22 attempts, won their fifth straight against a ranked team for the first time in school history and, perhaps most importantly, they beat Kansas (12-3, 2-1) in their personal house of horrors for the first time after playing their first game in the building in 1966.
The loss also ended the Jayhawks' 28-game home winning streak, the third-longest in the nation.
"I knew at some point Baylor was going to win up here and I was just hoping I would be a part of it," Bears coach Scott Drew said. "Really pleased it was with this group because they've worked extremely hard."
Isaiah Moss scored 15 points and Marcus Garrett had 11 for the Jayhawks, who lost leading scorer Devon Dotson to a hip pointer for a long stretch midway through the game, preventing them from finding any offensive rhythm.
Kansas was 4-of-15 beyond the arc and committed 14 turnovers that Baylor turned into 21 points.
When asked whether he thought his team knew of all the history wrapped up in a single loss, Kansas coach Bill Self replied: "I'm not going to make a big deal out of it like that.
"I think when you say it like that — I may be wrong — it's almost like saying the players here don't care as much as the players in the past because we got our (butts) handed to us today," Self continued. "This is sports. If they're on and you're not, they're going to beat you."
The two Big 12 heavyweights spent the first 10 minutes of the game sizing each other up, and the Jayhawks opened a brief 20-15 lead before the Bears — and Butler and Teague in particular — finally asserted control.
Teague began a 22-4 run to close the first half by beating the shot clock with a 3-pointer.
He turned the same trick a few minutes later, right after Butler knocked down a 3 and added a jumper of his own. The quick flurry forced Self to call the first of two fruitless timeouts in the closing minutes of the first half.
The second timeout came as the Bears were hitting seven straight field goals to take a 37-24 lead into the break.
"That," Self acknowledged, "made the climb a lot harder."
Making matters worse for Kansas? Dotson hurt his hip with about 50 seconds left in the half. He played on and began the second half, but he grabbed his side again 30 seconds in and immediately returned to the locker room.
The Jayhawks still made a run without the Big 12's top scorer.
Holding the Bears to a pair of field goals over the first 10 minutes of the second half, Kansas slowly managed to trim its deficit. Udoka Azubuike's alley-oop dunk got the Jayhawks within 41-36, and Ochai Agbaji's acrobatic layup a few minutes later provided an answer to yet another 3-pointer from Teague.
But the Jayhawks also misfired on plenty of opportunities to get closer. Garrett committed his fourth turnover with a chance to make it a one-possession game, Moss air-balled a 3-pointer and the Bears collapsed on easy looks in the paint.
That's when Butler and Teague refused to let another Baylor lead dissipate in the Phog.
The sophomore guard and his junior running mate, who together had carried the Bears to 11 straight wins, began to score at will on the offensive end. They attacked the basket against the Jayhawks' vaunted big men, dropped a series of open 3s to silence another sellout crowd, and seemingly willed the rest of Drew's team to the finish line.
Even when Dotson returned to the game, the Jayhawks never hit their stride. The Bears answered every bucket by Azubuike with one of their own, and they kept harassing Garrett into mistakes on offense and silly fouls on defense.
The Bears' lead eventually swelled to 60-44, and all they had to do was nurse it to a monumental win.
"When you've been in the Big 12 long enough, every game, you can't get too high or to low. They're all worth the same," Drew said. "At the same time I know to our fans, it means a great deal. Any time you beat a top team in the country it's a great win, let alone a conference team. Being able to do something we haven't done up here, I'm happy it's this group."
Baylor had been 0-3 in matchups in which both teams were ranked in the top five, with two of those losses coming to the Jayhawks — add that to the streaks that were broken Saturday. The Bears were efficient on offense, going 8 of 19 from beyond the arc, and they committed just five turnovers in a peerless offensive performance.
Kansas failed to get Azubuike and fellow big men David McCormack and Silvio de Sousa involved in the game, often throwing the ball away while trying to dump it down low. The result was a stunning 28-26 deficit on points in the paint, something few teams will be able to accomplish against the Jayhawks this season.
More Top 25
(At) No. 1 Gonzaga 87, Loyola Marymount 62: Filip Petrusev scored 16 points, Corey Kispert had 15 and No. 1 Gonzaga beat Loyola Marymount.
It was the Bulldogs’ 31st straight regular-season win in West Coast Conference play, tying them with the San Francisco squads led by Bill Russell and K.C. Jones for the second-longest streak in conference history. Pepperdine has the record at 32.
Gonzaga (18-1, 4-0) put five players in double figures. Ryan Woolridge scored 13, and Admon Gilder added 12.
Eli Scott paced Loyola Marymount (7-10, 1-2) with 20 points.
(At) No. 2 Duke 90, Wake Forest 59: Tre Jones scored 23 points to lead Duke to the runaway victory.
Cassius Stanley added 16 points for the Blue Devils (15-1, 5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who shot 53% from the field.
Duke scored on eight of its first nine possessions to take control early. The Blue Devils led 49-23 at halftime.
Torry Johnson and Olivier Sarr each scored 13 points for Wake Forest (8-7, 1-4). Sharone Wright Jr. added a season-high 11 points.
(At) No. 5 Auburn 82, Georgia 60: Samir Doughty had 17 points, and Auburn shot 53% percent from the field in the win.
The Tigers (15-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) surged with a 40-13 run after falling behind early to the Bulldogs (10-5, 0-2), a stretch that extended into the second half.
Anfernee McLemore and freshman Allen Flanigan each scored 12 points for the Tigers.
Georgia star Anthony Edwards struggled much of the game but still finished with 18 points, nearly his season average. The freshman was 6-of-15 shooting.
(At) No. 7 San Diego State 83, Boise State 65: KJ Feagin scored 16 of his season-high 23 points in the first half and San Diego State played its best home game all season, opening with a 23-9 outburst and beating Boise State.
Yanni Wetzell added 20 points, Malachi Flynn 19 and Matt Mitchell 10 for the Aztecs (17-0, 6-0 Mountain West), who remained one of two unbeaten teams (Auburn).
San Diego State continued its hottest start since 2010-11, when it opened 20-0 behind Kawhi Leonard and reached the Sweet 16 for the first time before finishing a school-record 34-3.
RJ Williams scored 16 points for Boise State (11-7, 3-3).
(At) No. 9 Oregon 78, Arizona State 69: Payton Pritchard scored 29 points and Oregon held off Arizona State.
Much of the game was a personal duel between Pritchard and Arizona State’s Remy Martin, who also had 29 points.
Chris Duarte added 20 points for the Ducks (14-3, 3-1 Pac-12). They have won 11 of their last 12 games against the Sun Devils.
Arizona State (10-6, 1-2) remained one of only two Pac-12 teams, along with Washington State, that has never won at Matthew Knight Arena, which opened in 2011.
No. 13 Louisville 67, (at) Notre Dame 64: Jordan Nwora led three Louisville players in double figures with 20 points as the No. 13 Cardinals withstood a furious Notre Dame comeback in the second half for an Atlantic Coast Conference victory.
Reserve guard Ryan McMahon scored 17 points and Dwayne Sutton had a double-double of 10 points and 14 rebounds for the Cardinals (13-3, 4-1 ACC) who won their second straight. John Mooney had his 10th straight double-double and 13th of the season, finishing with 15 points and 19 rebounds for the Fighting Irish (10-6, 1-4) who lost their second straight. T.J. Gibbs also had 15 points and reserve Dane Goodwin added 14.
(At) No. 14 Kentucky 76, Alabama 67: Immanuel Quickley scored the game’s final five points and finished with 19, Ashton Hagans had 15 with big 3 late and No. 14 Kentucky (12-3, 3-0 SEC) topped Alabama for its 1,000th Southeastern Conference victory. Nick Richards had 13 points and 11 rebounds for his seventh double-double this season. Tyrese Maxey added 13 points for the Wildcats.
Herbert Jones had 18 points and John Petty Jr. 16 for the Crimson Tide (8-7, 1-2).
(At) No. 15 Dayton 88, UMass 60: Obi Toppin scored 16 points before leaving with an ankle injury early in the second half as 15th-ranked Dayton (14-2, 3-0 Atlantic 10) got a scare while pulling away to victory over UMass. The Flyers' Ryan Mikesell finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Tre Mitchell led UMass (7-9, 1-2) with 16 points.
(At) No. 16 Villanova 80, Georgetown 66: Saddiq Bey hit eight 3-pointers and scored a career-high 33 points to lead No. 16 Villanova (12-3, 3-1 Big East). Qudus Wahab led the Hoyas (11-6, 1-3) with 13 points. The Hoyas missed 11 of 16 3s.
(At) No. 17 West Virginia 66, No. 22 Texas Tech 54: Miles McBride scored a season-high 22 points and Oscar Tshiebwe grabbed 17 rebounds, leading West Virginia to the win.
The Mountaineers (13-2, 2-1 Big 12) continued a remarkable turnaround by surpassing their total of 12 wins from last season, when they finished last in the league.
Davide Moretti led Texas Tech (10-5, 1-2) with 16 points. The Red Raiders have lost two straight, including a home loss to No. 4 Baylor on Tuesday night.
Syracuse 63, (at) No. 18 Virginia 55, OT: Buddy Boeheim scored nine of his 14 points in overtime and Syracuse got the win on the road.
The Orange scored 20 points in the extra period after netting just 19 in the second half.
Freshman Joe Girard had 19 points for Syracuse (9-7, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), and Elijah Hughes had 18.
Jay Huff had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Virginia (11-4, 3-2), which lost back-to-back games for the first time since the 2016-17 season. Mamadi Diakita and Kihei Clark each added 13 points.