2021 WNBA schedule released as season set to tip off on May 14 | NBA News


The WNBA will tip off its 25th season on May 14 with teams returning to their home arenas following a season in the bubble in Bradenton, Florida, the league announced on Tuesday.

All 12 teams will be in action on the opening weekend, with two games featuring matchups between former MVPs.

Each team will play 32 games during the regular season, which is scheduled to end on September 19.

The league will go on hiatus from July 15 through August 11 to allow players to take part in the Tokyo Olympics.

“As we tip-off this historic season with teams returning to play in their home markets, we celebrate the impact the WNBA has made on generations of young and diverse athletes and on sports and society since 1997,” WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said.

“Together with our fans and partners, we look ahead to how the outstanding athletes of the WNBA will continue to provide the best women’s basketball in the world while also driving change, striving for justice and equality, and impacting future generations.”

Leading off the season in the first game on May 14 will be the New York Liberty and the No 1 overall draft pick in 2020, Sabrina Ionescu, as they host the Indiana Fever at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Other games that night feature the Connecticut Sun at Atlanta Dream, Phoenix Mercury at Minnesota Lynx, and the Dallas Wings at the Los Angeles Sparks.

Action on May 15 includes a meeting between the Chicago Sky and Washington Mystics, featuring former MVPs Candace Parker and Elena Delle Donne. It will be the debut with Chicago for Parker, formerly of the Sparks.

After that game, former MVP Breanna Stewart and the Seattle Storm will host reigning MVP A’ja Wilson and the Las Vegas Aces. The Storm will receive their WNBA championship rings before the game.

The opening weekend will conclude on Sunday when the Mercury visit the Sun and the Liberty travel to face the Fever.





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WNBA announces 2021 season will begin May 14 with Sabrina Ionescu and Liberty headlining opening night


The WNBA announced Tuesday afternoon that their 25th anniversary season will tip-off on May 14, with the New York Liberty taking on the Indiana Fever in the first game of the season. Unlike last season, which was held in a bubble down in Florida, this year all 12 teams will play inside their home arenas.

From the WNBA:

“As we tip-off this historic season with teams returning to play in their home markets, we celebrate the impact the WNBA has made on generations of young and diverse athletes and on sports and society since 1997,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said. “Together with our fans and partners, we look ahead to how the outstanding athletes of the WNBA will continue to provide the best women’s basketball in the world while also driving change, striving for justice and equality, and impacting future generations. In the game and beyond, we will continue to say, Count It, as a way to celebrate the WNBA’s impact not only on the game, but culture at large.”

The 2021 season will be 32 games long, instead of the typical 36, and there will be a break in the schedule from July 15 through August 11 to allow players to participate in the Olympic Games. Also new to this season will be the baseball-style series that the NBA adopted this year as a way to reduce travel. If a team is scheduled to play a team twice in one market, those games will be scheduled consecutively.

In addition to Sabrina Ionescu and the Liberty tipping off the 2021 WNBA season at Barclays Center in Brooklyn against Kelsey Mitchell and the Indiana Fever at 7 p.m. ET, three other games will be played on opening night. Those games are:

  • Connecticut Sun at Atlanta Dream, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Phoenix Mercury at Minnesota Lynx, 9 p.m. ET
  • Dallas Wings at Los Angeles Sparks, 10:30 p.m. ET

Candace Parker will make her Chicago Sky debut on May 15 against Elena Delle Donne and the Washington Mystics. Delle Donne and Tina Charles will share the court for the first time as teammates after both sat out last season due to safety concerns because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mystics acquired Charles via trade with the Liberty prior to last season in hopes of bolstering their championship odds. 

The Seattle Storm will begin their championship defense against reigning MVP A’ja Wilson and the Las Vegas Aces, who the Storm beat in the WNBA Finals last year. This time around, though, the Aces will have Liz Cambage back after she sat out last season, as well as Chelsea Gray as she was added to the mix in free agency. 

In regards to fan attendance, the league announced that each team will make their own decision on that matter in accordance with federal, state and local health and safety protocols. The WNBA hasn’t announced what health and safety protocols players and team staff will have to abide by, but it will likely involve similar guidelines as last season where daily testing will be required and social distancing and mask wearing will be executed.





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How to Have Pleasurable Safer Sex During COVID-19: 14 Tips


After 12+ months of mumbling “I’m my safest sex partner!” while rubbing one out, you’re probably wondering when you can start having in-person partnered or multi-partnered sex again.

The answer: potentially sooner than you think!

Scroll on to learn more about safer romping in the age of ‘rona.

Before we talk about how to have safer sex during the coronavirus pandemic, we need to talk about what safer sex is.

Typically, safer sex is defined as sex — that’s any meaningful experience of pleasure — that helps reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Common ways of reducing the risk of STI transmission include:

  • using an external condom, internal condom, dental dam, or other barrier method
  • getting regularly tested for STIs
  • exchanging your STI status with your partner(s)
  • taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) if you’re at risk of contracting HIV

The reason it’s known as safer (with the r), and not safe sex, is because no transmission inhibitor is 100 percent effective.

External condoms, for example, aren’t foolproof. Some data shows that, when taking human error into consideration, they’re only 85 percent effective.

Even being screened for STIs isn’t 100 percent effective. This isn’t because the tests are inaccurate — they are accurate — but because most doctors don’t screen for all STIs or don’t screen for all STIs in all possible infection locations.

Many doctors, for example, won’t test for the herpes simplex virus unless you’re currently experiencing an outbreak. In fact, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) actually recommends against it.

Similarly, most doctors don’t ask people if they’ve engaged in oral or anal sex, and they may fail to test for oral or anal STIs.

Gone are the days when safer sex spoke only to the risk of STI transmission.

In the midst of a global pandemic centered around a virus that can be spread through a variety of bodily fluids — respiratory droplets, mucus, semen, fecal matter, and blood — the definition of safer sex has expanded.

These days, safer sex is defined as sex where those involved proactively work to reduce the risk of potential STI and COVID-19 transmission.

Here are some additional precautions to take during the pandemic to reduce your risk of COVID-19 transmission:

  • Get regularly tested for COVID-19.
  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine, and continue to physically distance until you’re considered fully vaccinated.
  • Wear a mask (or two).
  • Stay 6 (or more) feet apart from those outside of your household or pod.
  • Disinfect surfaces that are going to be shared by multiple people.
  • Wash your hands before and after sexual activity.
  • Disinfect any shared sex toys after use.
  • Avoid sexual activities that have a higher risk of infection.

To be very clear: Although STIs and COVID-19 can both be spread during sex, COVID-19 is not classified as an STI.

This means that, even if you get screened for every single STI, you aren’t also getting screened for COVID-19.

The only way to know if you’ve contracted COVID-19 is to take a COVID-19 test.

Part one of safer sex during the COVID-19 pandemic is understanding how the two types of infections work.

How COVID-19 is transmitted

COVID-19 is primarily spread upon contact with respiratory droplets — like sneeze shmutz, cough gook, and spit — from a person with COVID-19 coughing, sneezing, or talking near you.

COVID-19 can also be spread through airborne transmission.

Learn more about how COVID-19 is transmitted by visiting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC websites.

How STIs are transmitted

STIs are primarily transmitted through bodily fluids or direct genital skin-to-skin contact.

Learn more about STI transmission below:

Do you know your current STI or COVID-19 status? Find out before boning.

Find out your COVID-19 status

The only way to know your COVID-19 status is to get tested, eliminate as many potential risks for transmission between the test and results, and receive your results.

Throughout the pandemic, recommendations around whether people who aren’t experiencing symptoms should get tested have varied.

To find if you qualify for a test, and where you can get tested:

  • Google search “COVID-19 testing near me.”
  • Call your local clinic, doctor, or other healthcare professional.
  • Ask your local urgent care, CVS, or Walgreens if they’re currently performing COVID-19 tests.

To learn more about COVID-19 testing, check out the FDA’s Coronavirus Disease Testing Basics or read the below Healthline articles:

Find out your STI status

Knowing your true STI status means getting tested for all STIs.

“Prior to any sexual encounter, it’s recommended that all partners be screened for HIV, hepatitis B, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and herpes,” says Kecia Gaither, MD, a double board certified physician in OB-GYN and maternal fetal medicine and the director of perinatal services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln.

It also means getting screened in all potential areas at risk of being infected. In other words, get tested for oral or anal STIs if you have oral or anal sex.

If you aren’t sure where to go, check out our roundup of STI testing locations available in each state and online.

Your STI status isn’t the only one you need to know before you have partnered or multi-partnered sex.

You also need to know the status of the people you’re bedding.

To introduce the STI conversation, share your status first, recommends Lisa Finn, a sex educator and sexpert with sex toy boutique Babeland.

“Sharing your status and testing protocols will make other people feel more comfortable sharing their status,” she says.

You might say:

  • “Before you come over, I’d love to talk about our STI status. I’ll start: I got tested for gonorrhea, HIV, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis 2 weeks ago and received negative results for everything. HBU?”
  • “Before we meet up, I want to find out my current STI status. I’m going to make an appointment at my local Planned Parenthood or walk-in clinic this week. When were you last tested? Would you be open to doing the same?”
  • “I’m really excited to see you. I want you to know that I’m herpes positive, I’m on antiretrovirals, and I haven’t had an outbreak in 6 months. Let me know if you have any questions.”

Before agreeing to meet up with someone, Gaither says, “You want to find out when their last negative (or positive) COVID-19 test was, if they’re fully vaccinated, if and when they’re planning to get vaccinated, what their safety protocols are, and if they’ve had any recent exposures.”

Gigi Engle, a certified sex coach and the author of “All The F*cking Mistakes: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life,” notes that you might also ask how many people they’re currently dating.

“This is a very serious virus, and it deserves to be treated with seriousness,” she says.

“It’s not unchill to ask someone to help you assess whether they’re going to give you a potentially life threatening infection.” Fair!

Having different COVID-19 protocols may be a dealbreaker, and that’s OK!

“It may be a red flag if someone follows different COVID-19 protocols than you and refuses to adjust to the precautions you’ve requested in order to feel safe,” Engle says.

“It certainly indicates that this person isn’t being safe with their own health, which puts you at even greater risk.”

Ultimately, if you each aren’t fully vaccinated, having in-person sex in the middle of the pandemic with someone outside your household is risky.

But, according to the NYC Health Department, certain acts are safer than others.

According to the NYC Health Department, the safest sex acts during the pandemic include:

  • mutual masturbation
  • glory hole sex
  • masked sex
  • oral sex with a dental dam or external condom
  • anal sex with an external condom or other barrier method

Swapping spit is on the riskier side. Rimming is considered risky, too.

That doesn’t mean you can only do the acts the NYC Health Department approves of.

It just means you should approach other acts with an understanding of the risks.

Over a year into the pandemic, you’re probably a little sick (pun intended) of reading articles that sing the praises of sexting, phone sex, and video banging.

But, as Engle says, “Virtual sex really can be fun and intimate!”

App-controlled sex toys, mood lighting, good WiFi connections, and unlimited messaging can all help.

“We’ll all be vaccinated soon, and life can go back to normal in the near future,” she says. “Right now, [you] need to play it safe, even if you’d prefer to have sex in person.”

It is possible to have in-person (!) partnered and multi-partnered sex in the middle of the pandemic.

It just requires a lot of communication ahead of time about certain things, like COVID-19 protocols, current STI status, boundaries, and more.


Gabrielle Kassel is a New York-based sex and wellness writer and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. She’s become a morning person, tested over 200 vibrators, and eaten, drunk, and brushed with charcoal — all in the name of journalism. In her free time, she can be found reading self-help books and romance novels, bench-pressing, or pole dancing. Follow her on Instagram.





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14 Best Packing Tips From Travel Experts


packing tips

Natdanai Pankong / EyeEmGetty Images

Going on vacation is the best. Not so fun? Trying to cram your cutest outfits into your suitcase. Indeed, the anxiety of figuring out what to pack (and how to make it all a fit) can put bit of a damper on your pre-getaway excitement.

To the rescue: These savvy packing tips from Good Housekeeping Institute experts. Whether you’re someone who starts packing a week ahead of time or waits until the last minute, these hacks will ensure that your favorite dress doesn’t get wrinkled and you have plenty of room for souvenirs. Keep reading to learn how to pack faster, smarter, and sans stress.

Roll clothes and pack them first.

The best way to prevent creases and make the most of your space is to use the roll method. Lay tops facedown, fold in the sleeves and roll from the bottom up. For pants, put the legs together and roll from the waist down. Once you’ve rolled everything, place pants and tops in your suitcase before shoes and accessories; then, fit in other oddly shaped items like hair tools.

Amazon

Amazon Essentials Women’s 2-Pack Short-Sleeve V-Neck T-Shirt

Choose travel-friendly fabrics.

Our Textiles Lab pros always recommend opting for knits and stretchy fabrics (like these Amazon Essentials t-shirts made with spandex). Even when these fabrics wrinkle, the creases will fall out when you hang them up. Woven fabrics (like linen or cotton twill) are more prone to wrinkling.

Pack the first outfit you’ll want to wear on top.

If you know you’re getting off the plane and going straight to dinner or a meeting, plan your outfit and put it into your suitcase last. That way, when you arrive, you won’t have to dig through everything else to find it (plus, it will be less likely to wrinkle). This strategy is a great excuse to think about what you’ll wear in advance so you don’t make one of the biggest packing mistakes: waiting until the last minute to pack. Have trouble making a packing list and sticking to it? Check out this useful planner from Erin Condren.

Away

Place heavy items at the base.

Keep weightier things like shoes and books by the wheeled end of your suitcase. This placement helps your bag stay stable when upright, and stops other items from getting smushed. (GH experts like Away’s The Carry-On — it topped our Lab’s recent luggage test and has a 100-day trial period.)

Layer plastic dry cleaning bags between clothes.

The next time you pick up your dry cleaning, save the plastic bags. You can use them to protect delicate items from accidental pulls by layering them between your clothes. They help your clothing slide (not snag) when your bag gets jostled (and they help reduce wrinkling!).

Eagle Creek

Eagle Creek Travel Gear Pack-it Specter Cube Set

Use packing cubes.

Our pros like Eagle Creek’s set. These blocks keep your suitcase organized and stack together easily — no more trying to fit in oddly shaped items like a puzzle. Plus, the durable cubes are lightweight and thin so you won’t lose any precious suitcase space.

Avoid over or under-packing.

While you might be tempted to leave space for souvenirs, extra room means items can shift and crumple or break. Fill empty spaces with dry cleaner bags (and fill them later with mementos from your trip). It’s important not to over-pack either (especially if you’re only bringing a carry-on), since that’s a surefire way to create crease marks and can make it extra tricky to repack when you’re going home — or heading off to another spot.

BAGGU Ripstop Nylon Backpack

amazon.com

Get an extra tote for souvenirs.

You’re going to want to shop so bring a foldable bag like this cute backpack from Baggu. It won’t take up much space on the way to your destination (it folds into a small pouch!) and you can fill it with (almost) anything you buy on your travels.

Take a mini iron.

Despite your best packing efforts, some wrinkles and creases are inevitable. That’s where Reliable’s pint-size steam iron comes in. At only 1.6 pounds, it takes up very little space and is perfect for quick touch-ups anywhere (it works as an iron and steamer). It performed well in our Cleaning Lab tests (just don’t expect it to de-wrinkle a full garment in record time).

Bring two small laundry bags.

Use one for lights and one for darks. If you forget, grab plastic bags from your hotel room’s closet. When you get home, throw the presorted loads in the wash. Other Cleaning Lab must-haves: two-gallon resealable bags for wet bathing suits and an instant stain remover like Shout Wipe & Go ($27 for a pack of 12).

Stephanie Johnson

Stephanie Johnson Miami Medium Zip Closure Cosmetics Case

Organize your liquids bags.

You know the drill: Stash any liquids you want to keep in your carry-on bag in a separate, clear bag so you can easily pass through security. Our beauty director’s must-haves: a do-it-all hydrating balm, cleansing wipes for your face or hands (or the seat), and a lightly scented hand sanitizer. Not sure which liquids you can bring on the plane? Remember TSA’s 3-1-1 liquids rule: Products must be 3.4 ounces or less and they all must fit in a one quart-size bag.

Nordstrom

Nordstrom Tissue Print Wool & Cashmere Wrap Scarf

Keep important medication in your purse.

Even if you plan to carry on your bag, there’s still a risk you could have to check it at the gate. If your meds are in your purse, you’ll have what you need even if the overhead bin space fills up and you end up having to check your bag.

S’well

S’well Traveler Mug

amazon.com

Bring a scarf for the plane in your carry-on.

No matter what season it is, planes are often on the chilly side. Bring a pretty, warm wrap that you can bundle up in if the temp doesn’t feel comfortable. Bonus: You can also fold it and use it as a pillow.

Carry a reusable water bottle.

As long as it’s empty, it’s okay to bring a water bottle through airport security. Once you’re inside the terminal, fill it up at an airport cafe or water station. You’ll stay hydrated, and it’s greener than having to buy plastic water bottles while site-seeing. Our Kitchen Appliances Lab experts like S’well’s newly-designed bottles. They’ll still keep your hot drinks hot and your cold drinks cold without spilling, but now have a wider mouth so you can even add ice cubes.

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Trail Blazers vs. Timberwolves – Game Recap – March 14, 2021


MINNEAPOLIS — — Anthony Edwards scored a career-high 34 points and the short-handed Minnesota Timberwolves held on to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 114-112 on Sunday.

Ricky Rubio added 15 points, including eight free throws in the final seconds. Karl-Anthony Towns had 13 points as Minnesota started with just 10 players after rookie Jaden McDaniels was added to the health and safety protocols before the game.

The Timberwolves have won two of their past three games and are 2-6 under new coach Chris Finch.

Damian Lillard scored 38 for Portland, which had won four of five and beat Minnesota 125-121 on Saturday. Gary Trent Jr. added 21 points for the Blazers, and Carmelo Anthony had 16 off the bench.

Neither team could pull away for three quarters, with the largest lead being just six points for the squads playing without several key players. Portland was playing its 25th straight game without starters Jusuf Nurkic and C.J. McCollum.

The 20 points by Portland marked a season low for a Minnesota opponent in the first quarter. The Wolves still have second-leading scorer Malik Beasley on a suspension, D’Angelo Russell recovering from left knee surgery and two players in the health and safety protocols.

Finally, Minnesota started to pull away early in the fourth and it wasn’t surprising to see Edwards in the middle of the action.

The No. 1 overall draft pick left the game for several minutes after a mid-air collision with Blazers center Enes Kanter but later returned after being examined by the athletic trainer. He scored 13 of his points in the fourth and punctuated the performance with a flying dunk down the middle of the lane with 4:09 remaining to give the Wolves a 10-point advantage.

Portland used a 19-8 run late to close within two, but Rubio hit a pair of free throws after an offensive foul on him was changed to a defensive foul following a video review.

TIP-INS

Trail Blazers: Lillard hit six 3-pointers to move past J.R. Smith and J.J. Redick into 14th on the NBA’s career list. Lillard is 26 behind LeBron James for 13th. … Nurkic has missed 26 games with a fractured right wrist. McCollum is out with a left midfoot fracture, but told The Athletic that he could see himself returning next week. … Zach Collins (left ankle stress fracture) and Harry Giles III (left calf strain) also were out.

Timberwolves: Edwards had a career-high six 3s, his 13th game with at least three in a game, marking the second-most such games as a rookie in team history. Stephon Marbury had 15 in 1997. … Jarrett Culver missed his third straight game with a strained left big toe. McDaniels joined Jordan McLaughlin in the league’s health and safety protocols.

UP NEXT

Trail Blazers: Host New Orleans on Tuesday.

Timberwolves: Travel to Los Angeles to play the Lakers on Tuesday.

——



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Bookings surge as Greece set to reopen on May 14


Greece will allow tourists who have already had Covid to visit from mid-May, as well as those who are vaccinated and others who have tested negative.

“Greece is ready with a complete protocol for summer 2021,” said Greek tourism minister Harry Theocharis on Tuesday. “Tourists will be welcome if before travel they are either vaccinated, or have antibodies, or test negative. All tourists will be subject to random testing.” 

The news will further bolster bookings, with tour operators and hotels in Greece already reporting a surge in enquiries since Boris Johnson’s roadmap announcement last month.

Tour operator Scott Dunn has reported bookings for its OKU Kos property have increased 50 per cent in recent weeks, with occupancy now 70 per cent full for May and June.  

Chris Wright, managing director of Sunvil, says Greece holiday bookings are edging “back closer to pre-pandemic levels”. One hotel contacted by the Telegraph, the Auberge Resorts Collection’s Grace Hotel in Santorini, has reported a 50 per cent increase in requests, with the majority coming from the UK.

This comes as Grant Shapps this morning said he was “hopeful” that people would be able to travel abroad from May 17, but warned there were no “cast iron guarantees”.  

Scroll down for the latest travel news.





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🏀 Kansas Falls in Overtime to No. 14 Texas, 75-72 – Kansas Jayhawks


AUSTIN, Texas – In a game that couldn’t be decided in regulation, the No. 17 Kansas Jayhawks fell to the No. 14 Texas Longhorns in overtime, 75-72, inside the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas on Tuesday.

Kansas fell to 17-8 overall and 11-6 in Big 12 play, while Texas improved to 14-6 and 8-5 in league games.

Tuesday night’s Big 12 battled marked the first game since Nov., 27, 2019, that the Jayhawks played into overtime, when Kansas defeated Dayton, 90-84 in the title game of the Maui Invitational.

The overtime effort was a tale of two halves for the Jayhawks, as Kansas used the first half to jump out to a 43-32 lead going into the break. At that point, Kansas had shot 48.5% (16-of-33) from the field, while leading all but four minutes of play.

In the second half, the Longhorns closed in on the Jayhawks with a 15-3 run, which helped Texas take the lead at 57-54 with 9:10 remaining. Despite giving up its lead, Kansas stayed to within five points and was able to draw close in the final minutes.

Trailing by two on their final possession, Kansas Junior David McCormack collected a Marcus Garrett miss and tied the game at 66-66 to send the game into overtime.

In overtime, the Longhorns were able to pull ahead and hold off the Jayhawks, 75-72.

Kansas shot 40% (26-of-65) from the field, while forcing Texas into 17 turnovers. The Longhorns were able to control the rebound battle, 50-38, while shooting 37% (23-of-61) from the field.

NOTES

  • Kansas’ 43 first half points marks the sixth time this season KU has scored 40 or more points in the first half, including the second in Big 12 play. The Jayhawks scored 49 points against TCU on January 5.
  • The overtime effort was Kansas’ first game of the season and the last overtime game since Nov. 27, 2019, when the Jayhawks defeated Dayton, 90-84, in the Maui Invitational title game.
  • Five Jayhawks scored in double-figures, including Jalen Wilson, Christian Braun, Ochai Agbaji, David McCormack and Bryce Thompson, marking the sixth time this season and second straight game Kansas had five or more players in double-figures. The Jayhawks are 4-2 in those games.
  • Junior Ochai Agbaji connected on 5-of-11 from beyond the arc, marking his 13th game this season with three or more 3-pointers in a game, including the 21st of his career.
  • Redshirt-freshman Jalen Wilson brought down 13 rebounds, marking the 21st time this season he grabbed five or more. Wilson leads KU and ranks third in the Big 12 which 8.0 rebounds per game.
  • Paired with his 13 rebounds, Wilson scored 16 points, marking his ninth double-double this season including his second-straight and sixth in his last seven games.
  • Freshman Bryce Thompson scored 11 points, a season-high in Big 12 Conference play and the most since scoring 12 points against Gonzaga on November 26.

UP NEXT

Kansas plays its last home game of the regular-season against Baylor on Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. on ESPN. Kansas leads the all-time series with Baylor, 33-7, including a 17-1 in games played in Lawrence, 16-1 in Allen Fieldhouse. Earlier this season, Baylor defeated Kansas, 77-69, on Jan. 18, 2021, in Waco, Texas.

 





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