#2 Baylor vs #5 Texas

#2 Baylor vs #5 Texas | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on February 1, 2021

Terrific matchup from the Big 12 on Tuesday night as No. 2 and unbeaten Baylor visits ranked Texas (new rankings out Monday and Texas will fall from No. 5) on national TV. A Bears win would all but wrap up the Big 12 regular-season title and they will be favored on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet Baylor at Texas NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

  • When: Tuesday, 7 PM ET
  • Where: Frank Erwin Center
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: TBA (Baylor will be favored)

Last Meeting

Baylor won both meetings last season when Texas wasn’t very good and the Bears were. The one in Waco was 59-44. After building a 36-23 halftime lead, the Bears missed 18 of their first 20 shots in the second half before Matthew Mayer’s short jumper made it 47-37 with 7 1/2 minutes left. The Bears shot 22.6% (7 of 31) after halftime, and 31.3% (20 of 64) overall. But they finished with 19 offensive rebounds and 21 second-chance points. The Longhorns were outrebounded 48-35. UT also missed 10 of 15 free throw attempts.

Why Bet on Texas? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Texas (11-3) was supposed to play at Kentucky on Saturday but that was canceled due to COVID issues with the Wildcats program – nothing is going right this year for John Calipari’s team, which is gong to miss the NCAA Tournament barring an unlikely run to the SEC Tournament title.

The Horns also have had some COVID issues – coach Shaka Smart tested positive and has been away from the team for about a week. It’s not yet clear if he can return by Tuesday. Smart has posted a 101-81 (.555) mark in his six seasons in Austin. He has led the Longhorns to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances (2016 and 2018) and the 2019 NIT Championship.

Texas is a 5-0 in games away from Austin this season. The Longhorns are 2-0 in true road games with wins at No. 3/4 Kansas and No. 14/16 West Virginia and 3-0 in neutral-site contests.

UT’s only three losses have come in a 68-64 home setback to No. 12/3 Villanova, a 79-77 defeat in Austin to No. 15/15 Texas Tech and an 80-79 home loss to No. 24/nr Oklahoma. Texas is 3-3 against AP ranked opponents.

Texas has scored the opening points and led from start-to-finish in six of its first 11 victories. UT has posted four wins by at least 20 points. The Longhorns also are 4-2 in games decided by three points or less. Senior guard Matt Coleman leads the team in assists (4.1 apg), minutes (33.9 mpg) and steals (17) and ranks third in scoring (13.1 ppg). He has converted 46.7-percent (64-137) from the floor and 36-of-40 (.900) free throws.

Why Bet on Baylor? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Baylor (16-0) looks almost unstoppable at this point. The Bears beat visiting Auburn 84-72 on Saturday in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The Bears have gone deeper into a season without a loss only once — a 17-0 start in 2011-12.

While the starting backcourt duo of Jared Butler and MaCio Teague were a combined 2-of-13 from 3-point range, sophomore guard Adam Flagler poured in a season-high 19 points and Matthew Mayer had a pair of highlight-reel dunks.

“It was crazy,” said Baylor’s Adam Flagler about the frenzy that followed Mayer’s stellar dunk in the second half of Saturday’s victory. “We were all super excited for him. He’s a big-time talent, and he showed that a little bit.”

Mayer is an example of the depth Baylor possesses. He has played more than 20 minutes just once this season because of the talent ahead of him on the roster — but he has still left his mark. Davion Mitchell added 13 points, seven assists and only one turnover against his former team. Mitchell transferred to Baylor after playing his freshman season at Auburn.

“I know this was a tough game, because it was emotional, the team wanted to win it for Davion,” said Baylor coach Scott Drew. “Obviously, Davion wanted to play well. . . . Since they’ve gotten (Sharife) Cooper back, I think them and Alabama are the two best teams in the SEC.”

Flo Thamba was scoreless (0-for-4), but had a career-high 11 rebounds and helped Baylor bounce back from a minus-8 difference in the first half to tie it up on the boards, 43-all.

Baylor is 7-1 in Big 12/SEC Challenge games, the best record by any team in either league in the annual showdown. The Bears have won their last 18 nonconference games overall, one short of the school record set during that 2011-12 season.

Expert Prediction

  • Baylor 74, Texas 69
 
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