#2 Baylor vs #10 West Virginia Road to March Madness

#2 Baylor vs #10 West Virginia Road to March Madness | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Baylor will not enter the NCAA Tournament unbeaten as the Bears were upset over the weekend at Kansas, but they still control their destiny for the Big 12 regular-season title. The Bears will be short favorites on the CBB odds at second-place West Virginia on Tuesday. The Bears are +575 to win the national title, while the Mountaineers are +3300.

How to Bet Baylor at West Virginia NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

  • When: Tuesday, 5 PM ET
  • Where: WVU Coliseum
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio: Tunein.com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: TBA (Baylor will be favored)

Last Meeting

This will turn out to be the only regular-season meeting as three previous times this season the schools were set to play the game was either postponed or canceled due to COVID issues. Last year, they split two meetings. West Virginia won at home 76-64 when it was unranked and Baylor No. 4. The Bears went more than eight minutes without a field goal midway through the second half. A decisive 21-5 burst put West Virginia ahead 57-46 with 3:02 remaining. WVU made 16 of 19 from the line over the final two minutes to seal it. Baylor was outrebounded 42-28, got into foul trouble and was outscored 24-10 at the line.

Why Bet on Baylor? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Baylor (18-1) lost at No. 17 Kansas on Saturday, 71-58 – the Jayhawks have now won an astonishing 38 straight games on Senior Day. Kansas led the entirety of the second half, only allowing Baylor to come within one possession after MaCio Teague got the and one after a foul from Ochai Agbaji to make the score 42-45.

Dajuan Harris Jr., answered with a layup and a free throw on back-to-back Kansas possessions to bring the Jayhawks ahead by seven. The Jayhawks continued to dominate, shooting 52.2% (12-23) from the field in the second half and grabbing 25 rebounds.

In the last five minutes of play, the Jayhawks attempted 13 free throws and successfully made 10 of them. KU won the rebounding battle 48-28, making this the 16th time winning the rebounding battle this season, improving to 14-3 this season in such games.

Still feeling the effects of a three-week COVID pause, the Bears saw their program-best 18-0 start end.   Baylor shot just 35 percent from the field overall, hit 6-of-26 from outside the arc, missed 10 of 16 from the line and got pounded on the boards. Teague, who had a team-high 18 points and eight rebounds, said the Jayhawks “out-toughed us on the glass.”

“We had three weeks where we got worse,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said of the Bears’ three-week quarantine earlier this month, “and they had three weeks where they got better, so we’ve got to catch up.”

KU’s Marcus Garrett, a finalist for National Defensive Player of the Year along with the Bears’ Davion Mitchell and Mark Vital, made it tough all might on All-American guard Jared Butler. He was 1-of-7 from outside the arc and scored five points before fouling out with 43.9 seconds left.

Why Bet on West Virginia? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Mountaineers (17-6), the only other team still alive in the conference race, won their third in a row with a 65-43 blowout of Kansas State on Saturday.

Down its starting point guard Nijel Pack, who missed the game due to an eye infection, the Wildcats could never get anything going offensively, as the Mountaineers finally broke it wide open with a 17-0 run midway through the second half to build as much as a 25-point lead.

The K-State defense held the Big 12’s second-leading offense (77.6 ppg.) to 65 points on 41.5 percent (22-of-53) shooting, including 30 percent (6-of-20) from 3-point range. However, the defensive effort could not overcome the offensive struggles, as the Wildcats managed season-lows in several categories, including field goals made (15), field goal percentage (29.4) and 3-point field goals made (3).

Sean McNeil scored 16 points and Derek Culver added 11 for WVU, which swept the season series for the first time since 2016. The Mountaineers did shoot 50% (13 of 26) in the second half, outscoring the Wildcats 39-21 after the break.

“I thought our rotations were better,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. Huggins is now two victories shy of 900 for his illustrious coaching career. “If they shot 29%, think what it would have been if we didn’t give up all those point-blank shots around the rim.”

Huggins chose to start Jordan McCabe instead of regular point guard Deuce McBride in hopes of giving McBride some rest with four games coming up in a span of six days. McBride played 23 minutes and finished with five points.

Expert Prediction

  • Baylor 75, West Virginia 73

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