The #3 Kansas Jayhawks (12-2) will welcome the #4 Baylor Bears (12-1) to town Saturday afternoon at the Allen Fieldhouse. The Big 12 has been one of the elite college conferences once again this year. As of today, no team has a record below .500 and four teams are currently in the AP Top 25. Kansas has owned this rivalry in its entirety, but Baylor is riding an 11 game win streak coming into this game. Overtime Heroics is incredibly excited for this game, as is this writer, but who is going to win?
Will Devon Dotson lead the Jayhawks to their thirteenth victory? Or will the duo of Jared Butler and MaCio Teague shock the world and pick up the win? We break down this rivalry and talk about the keys to victory for both teams. I will also give my prediction at the end as to who wins Saturday afternoon.
Fun Facts Of This Game & Rivalry
- Kansas leads this rivalry all-time with a 32-5 record. Baylor’s last win was on.
- Baylor has never won at the Allen Fieldhouse. They are 0-17 all-time in this rivalry in Kansas house.
- Kansas has won two straight and 13 of the last 14 matchups against Baylor.
- Baylor is 0-3 all-time when facing an opposing top-five team
- Kansas is the top-scoring team in the Big 12 at 79.4 points per game
- Baylor is also 0-22 all-time when facing an opposing top-five team on the road.
Keys For Kansas
- Establish Udoka Azubuike Early: The seven-foot, 270 pound center for Kansas has been an absolute force all year. He comes into their game averaging 13 points and almost nine rebounds per game. He also leads the nation, by a wide margin, in shooting percentage at 80%. If they can get him going early it will open up lanes and shots for other players. Establish the post-game and other aspects of the game will be much easier.
- Shoot Free Throws Well: The Jayhawks shoot a staggering 51% from three-point land, but not much higher from the charity stripe. At only 65% from the line, they rank 300th in the nation out of 353 programs. Since they shoot twenty per game, they leave roughly seven points per game off the board. They must make Baylor pay when they are sent to the free-throw line.
- Take Care Of The Ball: The Jayhawks come into this game averaging a high amount of turnovers per game. On the year they average 14 per game, or seven per half to be exact. Baylor as a team only shoots 43% on the year, so they cannot let them get easy buckets. Turnovers lead to extra possessions and fast breakpoints. If they can keep their turnovers to roughly 10 in this game they have a great shot at victory.
Keys For Baylor
- Shoot Three-Pointers Well: Baylor is the undersized team in this matchup for sure. Only one starter is taller than six foot eight, compared to two players for Kansas. They are essentially undersized across the board, which means quickness may be on their side. If they can drive and dish to open shooters then they must hit those shots. They only shoot 35% from downtown, so they need to exceed that in this game.
- Move The Ball Well: Baylor ranks 136th in the NCAA in assists per game, which is quite high for such a highly ranked team. No Baylor player averages more than 3.1 assists per game either, which is quite poor. To beat a team like Kansas, who is strong defensively, you must move the ball effectively. If Baylor can do so they have a shot against Bill Self and Kansas.
- Someone Must Step Up: The Baylor Bears have many scoring options. Six Baylor players average over six points per game, but none average over 17. Devin Dotson does for Kansas, so they need someone to match him. If someone can go over twenty points for Baylor that will go a long way in pulling off the upset.
Every fiber of my being wants to take the Baylor Bears to win this game. But no numbers support them picking up the win. Kansas has owned this rivalry and is the better offensive team. Baylor is slightly stronger defensively, but Kansas should overpower them on the offensive end. Until Scott Drew can find a way to win in the Allen Fieldhouse we have to go with the Jayhawks. This should be a tight game throughout, but Kansas will pull out the win late. Jayhawks will win by eight and move to 33-5 all-time in this rivalry.
Score Prediction: Kansas 79 Baylor 71
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