Baylor was ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll for a handful of weeks but will fall out of that spot in the new polls on Monday thanks to back-to-back losses. The Bears have a very tough test Tuesday with a trip to West Virginia in Big 12 action. Check back for NCAAB odds.
How to Bet Baylor at West Virginia NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info
- When: Tuesday, 5 PM ET
- Where: WVU Coliseum
- TV: ESPN2
- Stream: ESPN app
- Radio: Tunein.com
- Opening NCAAB Lines: TBA (Baylor will be short favorite)
This is the first of two meetings this year between the schools and last season they played just once because of some COVID issues. The game was in Morgantown and Baylor won 94-89 in overtime. Jared Butler’s drive to the hoop with less than three seconds left in regulation sent the game to an extra session and the Bears scored the final six points in overtime to secure the Big 12 regular-season championship. WVU made 28-of-32 free throw attempts but two of the four misses came in critical points late in the game. Butler led four Baylor players in double figures with 25 points but he’s in the NBA now. Taz Sherman led the Mountaineers with 26 points and he’s still with WVU.
Why Bet on Baylor?
What’s going on with the Bears? They were upset 65-62 at home to Texas Tech last Tuesday and then shocked by unranked Oklahoma State in Waco 61-54 on Saturday. After trailing by as many as 17 points in the second half, the Bears were within 55-54 with 1:21 left when LJ Cryer made two free throws to cap a 14-2 run. They didn’t score again.
Bryce Thompson scored the game’s final six points and finished with 19 as the Cowboys, in their third Big 12 road game in five days while traveling more than 3,200 miles. Baylor hadn’t had consecutive losses since the last three regular-season games of the 2018-19 season and its Big 12 tournament opener. The Bears also hadn’t lost back-to-back games at home since the end of the 2015-16 season.
“They’re not very happy,” Bears senior Matthew Mayer said when asked the mood of the coaches. “We dug ourselves in a big hole. … If the hole wasn’t that big, then we would have been able to win the game,” said Cryer, who had 18 points and didn’t sense any hangover from the loss to Tech. “I felt like that had nothing to do with this loss.”
Already playing without 6-9 freshman Jeremy Sochan, who’s missed the last two games with a sprained left ankle, the Bears also got limited minutes Saturday from point guard James Akinjo. Dealing with a lower back injury after a fall in the Tech Kinjo game, he sat out the last 9:49 and finished with three points, missing seven of eight shots.
“That obviously affected him,” Coach Scott Drew said. “We didn’t think he was going to play, and he gutted it out. But that, obviously, wasn’t the same James. In this league, everyone’s banged-up, and you only have so much margin for error. We’ve got to get him and Jeremy back. And in the meantime, figure out a better way to put guys in positions to be successful.”
Baylor had been 30-0 over the past two seasons against unranked teams, with all wins by at least five points. Baylor is on a school-record streak of 39-straight weeks top-10 ranked (top-5 ranked in 36 of those) and the Bears should still be in the Top 10 in the new polls. Baylor has been ranked in all 25 spots in the AP Top 25 at some point in the last 7 years.
Why Bet on West Virginia?
WVU probably will be ranked in the new Top 25 with the Mountaineers at 13-3 overall – although they do come off a lopsided 85-59 loss at No. 9 Kansas on Saturday. Leading just 33-31 at halftime, the Jayhawks scored the first nine points of the second half to force WVU to call a 30-second timeout. Gabe Osabuohien briefly stopped the bleeding with a layup, but KU center David McCormack answered with a dunk and the Jayhawk lead soon swelled to 15 on a Christian Braun layup.
The advantage was 20 on Jalen Wilson’s 3 with 9:43 and then a McCormack fast break dunk gave Kansas a 77-55 lead with 3:40 to go. Kansas’ biggest lead was 27 when both teams had their reserves on the floor.
“They ran through things all day,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. “They put five guys in who probably hadn’t seen time since they got to school and they ran right by us.”
A matchup of the Big 12’s top two scorers Ochai Agbaji and Taz Sherman never materialized. KU’s Agbaji hit his season average with 20, but Sherman had his roughest game of the season by making just 1 of 9 from the floor and scoring a season-low 5 points.
At 1,297 career games coached, Bob Huggins has coached the sixth-most games in college basketball history behind Mike Krzyzewski, Boeheim, Jim Phelan, Cliff Ellis and Jim Calhoun. West Virginia has held 10 of its 16 opponents to 60 points or less this season. Huggins has wins over 55 AP-ranked teams at WVU, including 22 wins over Top 10 teams and three over No. 1. Huggins has 100 wins over ranked teams as a head coach in his career
Originally, this game was to tipoff Monday at 7 p.m. ET but it was shifted to 5 ET in October due to the adjustment of an NFL playoff game. The Rams host the Cardinals in an NFC Wild-Card Game on Monday night.
- West Virginia 68, Baylor 66
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