#2 Baylor vs #17 Kansas Road to March Madness

#2 Baylor vs #17 Kansas Road to March Madness | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Spectacular matchup from the Big 12 on a loaded college basketball Saturday as unbeaten and No. 2 Baylor visits No. 17 Kansas as the Bears look for the season sweep. They will be favored on the NCAAB odds. To win the national title, Baylor is +280 and Kansas +3300.

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

Last Meeting

On Jan. 8 in Waco, Baylor was ranked No. 2 as well and beat No. 9 Kansas 77-69. The Bears’ Jared Butler was unstoppable in hitting 7-for-9 from deep for a season-high 30 points.   With Butler draining five first-half 3-pointers and scoring 17 points, the Bears led by as many as 16 and went to the break up 41-28. “You can’t spot a team (16 points) . . . and expect to come back,” KU coach Bill Self said.   Butler and Davion Mitchell combined to hit six-straight free throws down the stretch to ice the game. Christian Braun drained five 3-pointers and led Kansas with 17 points.

Why Bet on Baylor? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Baylor returned from a long COVID break on Tuesday as a 24-point underdog at a terrible Iowa State team and nearly suffered the massive upset but rallied for a 77-72 win.  The Bears played for the first time since an 83-69 win at then-No. 6 Texas on Feb. 2 when they had matched the best start in school history. They then had six consecutive games postponed because of COVID-19 issues in the program.

Iowa State’s biggest lead was 32-15 in the first half.  Facing their first double-digit deficit of the season, the Bears got back within five by halftime. The Bears never led until MaCio Teague made two free throws with 4:26 left for a 66-65 advantage. They never trailed again.  Baylor had won its previous 17 games by at least eight points, including 10 by double digits.

Three players, including key reserve Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua (7.8 PPG), missed Tuesday’s game. And the team had only practiced with a new starting lineup featuring Matthew Mayer at center 48 hours prior to unveiling it.

“It was a real gut check,” said Coach Scott Drew, whose team topped the previous best start of 17-0 in 2011-12, when the Bears made their second Elite Eight in three years. “When you’re not playing well and you’re not back to what you’re used to, and you can battle back and get a win when all the pressure is on you, that says a lot about our guys.”

Adam Flagler scored a season-high 22 points and Jared Butler had 15 of his 18 points after halftime for the Bears on Tuesday.

Consider a prop bet on Butler for Saturday. The senior has averaged 23.2 points in five career games versus Kansas, including two of his three 30-point games. “Whenever we play Kansas, it’s supposed to be a big game, and I love big games and big moments.”

Why Bet on Kansas? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

KU had a five-game winning streak snapped in a 75-72 OT loss at No. 14 Texas on Tuesday. Texas completed a regular-season two-game sweep of the Jayhawks for the first time in program history. UT previously defeated Kansas in the regular season at home in 2003-04 and again in the semifinals of the 2004 Big 12 tournament.

David McCormack’s put-back with six seconds left tied the game at 66-66 and forced overtime. In the extra session, a McCormack hook shot gave Kansas a 72-70 lead with 1:40 remaining. Texas held the Jayhawks scoreless for the remainder of overtime and used one Matt Coleman free throw, a pair of Courtney Ramey free throws, another single Coleman free throw and a final free throw from Kai Jones with five seconds left to earn the 75-72 win.

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. It was 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.

Five Jayhawks scored in double figures, including Jalen Wilson, Christian Braun, Ochai Agbaji, 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.

The freshman 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.

This is KU’s final home game of the season. Kansas leads the all-time series with Baylor, 33-7, including a 17-1 in games played in Lawrence, 16-1 in Allen Fieldhouse.

Expert College Basketball Prediction

Baylor 72, Kansas 69


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