#9 Kansas vs #2 Baylor

#9 Kansas vs #2 Baylor | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on January 18, 2021

The marquee matchup around college basketball Monday night is clearly from the Big 12 as No. 9 Kansas visits No. 2 Baylor on national TV. The Bears are favored on the NCAAB odds and are the only team in the Big 12 without a conference loss.

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

  • When: Monday, 9 PM ET
  • Where: Ferrell Center, Waco
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: Baylor -8.5 (total 140)

Last Meeting

These schools split last season, each winning on the road. The one in Waco ended 64-61 in favor of the Jayhawks when they were ranked No. 3 and Baylor was No. 1. Udoka Azubuike (now in the NBA) had 23 points and 19 rebounds to help Kansas snap Baylor’s then-23 game winning streak. Isaiah Moss, who had 11 points, made two free throws for Kansas with 7.9 seconds left before a timeout. The Bears had one more shot, but Jared Butler’s 3-pointer from beyond the top of the key ricocheted off the front of the iron as time expired.

Why Bet on Kansas?

Kansas (10-3) was supposed to play Saturday vs. Iowa State but that was postponed but it hasn’t taken the floor since an upset loss at Oklahoma State last Tuesday, 75-70.

KU was led by a season-high 24 points from junior David McCormack, while the Jayhawks had three players in double figures, including McCormack’s double-double of 24 points paired with 12 rebounds. Joining McCormack in double digits were junior Ochai Agbaji (14) and senior Marcus Garrett (12). The Jayhawks fell behind early and were unable to gain leverage in the first half against Oklahoma State, as the Jayhawks trailed 46-35 at halftime, the largest deficit KU has faced at the break all season.

Kansas is 98-13 following a loss in the Bill Self era, which started in 2003-04, including 2-0 this season and 3-0 in 2019-20. KU has been even more efficient over the last six-plus seasons, amassing a record of 47-5 after losses. This includes an 8-1 mark in 2018-19. Seven of Kansas’ last eight losses have been to ranked foes, with three of those in the top five.

Kansas has had four different leading scorers in four of its last six games with David McCormack (3), Jalen Wilson, Christian Braun and Ochai Agbaji. Kansas leads the Big 12 in blocked shots per game at 4.6 and ranks in the upper half of 11 conference stat categories.

Agbaji leads the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage (42.7) and 3-point field goals made (2.7). Agbaji has made 22 threes in his last seven games. McCormack is averaging 20.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots per game in his last three outings.

Kansas leads the all-time series with Baylor, 33-6, including a 14-3 record in meetings in Waco with all 17 battles inside the Ferrell Center. Kansas has won the last two meetings in Waco.

Why Bet on Baylor?

Baylor (12-0) did play Saturday and won 68-60 at No. 15 Texas Tech. Davion n Mitchell hit a 3-pointer with 5:38 left to stretch Baylor’s lead to 49-45 after the Red Raiders failed to score on a possession when they missed three consecutive putback chances. The Bears did see the end of their school-record streak of 11 consecutive double-digit wins — their closest game had been an 11-point win at Iowa State on Jan. 2. They turned it over 16 times, shot just 42 percent from the floor and got outrebounded, 42-37, giving up 18 offensive boards.

Mitchell hit three 3-pointers and scored a team-high 17 points to take up the slack for struggling star Jared Butler, who missed his first nine shots. Adam Flagler bounced back from a scoreless game against TCU to pour in 15 of the Bears’ 26 bench points, while MaCio Teague added 14 points while playing all but two minutes.

Baylor is now one of only four remaining undefeated teams and the only unbeaten team from a Power 5 conference. This is the fifth 12-0 start in program history and the third in the last 10 years.

BU leads the nation in scoring margin (+26.2) and ranks top-10 nationally in 3FG% (6th, 42.2), scoring (6th, 87.2), assists (9th, 18.6), steals (6th, 9.5), effective FG% (9th, 58.4), offensive rebound pct. (8th, 38.2), turnover margin (4th, +7.0), turnovers forced (4th, 19.3) and defensive turnover pct. (3rd, 26.9). • BU is the nation’s only team top-10 ranked in adjusted offensive (4th) and defensive (1st) efficiency.

Kansas (plus-8.1) and Baylor (plus-7.1) are 1-2 in the league in rebounding margin, with the Jayhawks ranked 25th nationally. They are also two of the best on the offensive glass, averaging 13.1 offensive boards per game.    Kansas and Baylor also rank among the league’s best defenses, giving up 61.1 and 67.5 points, respectively, and less than 41 percent shooting from the field.

Baylor is 8-1 against ranked teams over the last two seasons, including 3-1 at home. Monday marks the sixth top-10 matchup in Ferrell Center history.

Expert Prediction             

  • Baylor 74, Kansas 66

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