It’s been a weird college basketball season and this Saturday provided us with a perfect metaphor for just how historically weird it has been.
The Baylor Bears came into the day having accomplished a lot as a program, but the one thing they had never done is beat the Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence, Kansas. In 16 tries, they’ve always come away with a loss, even as the program has become a strong national contender in recent years. Head coach Scott Drew might have come into the day with a 331–209 record with the Bears, but he was 0-12 against Kansas on the road.
That ended Saturday when the Bear not only beat the Jayhawks in Kansas but led most of the day in a 67-55 win.
It felt like fait accompli at halftime when Baylor outscored Kansas 22-4 over the final 6:46, taking a 13-point lead into the locker room. The Jayhawks got back within five points in the second half but Baylor’s offense got back on track to power the Bears to victory.
Meanwhile, the Clemson Tigers were up for a little streak-ending of their own. They visited the ailing North Carolina Tar Heels in Chapel Hill where they were an astounding 0-59 all-time. That’s a truly amazing number, though one that kinda makes sense when you think about both programs historically. But with the Tar Heels reeling this season, it was as good a chance as any for the Tigers to stop the streak.
Clemson was 0-59 against UNC in Chapel Hill before today.
The drought ended today with a 79-76 OT win 🙌
— SI College Hoops (@si_ncaabb) January 11, 2020
And so they did, topping UNC 79-76 in overtime. It might just have been a regular-season game against one of the worst North Carolina squads in some time, but the implications for the Clemson program are pretty huge.
Baylor and Clemson were a combined 0-76 at Kansas and North Carolina, respectively, entering the day.
They went 2-0.
— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) January 11, 2020
If anyone was going to give the win the proper perspective it deserved, it would be Jon Rothstein.
January 11, 2020:
The day the streak died.
Clemson wins at North Carolina for the first time EVER.
Almost as big as when Brock Lesnar beat The Undertaker at Wrestlemania, where he had once won 21 straight matches.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) January 11, 2020
So don’t let anyone tell you that something isn’t possible this college basketball season. The seemingly impossible has been happening left and right.