Kansas State vs #2 Baylor

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

Written by on January 26, 2021

Unbeaten Baylor is stream-rolling opponents, but the Bears remain No. 2 in the polls because top-ranked Gonzaga is too. Baylor returns to the court Wednesday in Big 12 action and will be a huge home favorite on the NCAAB odds vs. Kansas State.

How to Bet Kansas State at Baylor NCAA Basketball Odds & TV InfoLast Meeting

On Dec. 19, Baylor won 100-69 at Kansas State. MaCio Teague had 23 points and 10 rebounds, and Davion Mitchell scored 20 points. Jared Butler had 14 points and 13 assists for his first career double-double with the Bears and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua scored 13 points. Baylor finished shooting 58% while the Wildcats shot 47%. The Bears made 14 3-pointers while Kansas State connected on six. The Bears shot 64% in the first half, including seven 3-pointers, to lead by 29 at the half. Antonio Gordon led the Wildcats with 23 points on 9-of-9 shooting, and Selton Miguel scored 14 points. Gordon was the eighth player in school history to be perfect from the field with at least nine shots attempted.

Why Bet on Kansas State? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Wildcats (5-11) lost their sixth in a row Saturday, 69-47 at home to No. 14 West Virginia. The Wildcats had 28 turnovers, the most by a Big 12 team this season and the most in a game under coach Bruce Weber. West Virginia scored 26 points off those mistakes. “That’s the difference in the game,” Weber said. “We have to play stronger, but we got our butts kicked.” It was K-State’s fifth loss in a row by double digits.

The 28 turnovers tied for the sixth-most in school history and the most since turning it over 28 times at Kansas on Feb. 27, 2002. It was the most in a home game since 29 times vs. Long Beach State on Jan. 4, 2000.

K-State did show a spark in the early moments of the second half, closing the gap to 36-28 on a pair of free throws by senior Mike McGuirl with 15:31 to play. However, WVU responded with 8 consecutive points, including back-to-back 3-pointers from senior Taz Sherman, to push the lead back to 16 points just under 2 minutes later and force a timeout by Weber with 13:57 remaining.

The Wildcats could not get any closer than 11 points the rest of the way. K-State was held to a season-low 47 points on 38.1 percent (16-of-42) shooting, including 20 percent (3-of-15) from 3-point range. It was the lowest point total since also scoring 47 against Texas on Jan. 2, 2019. The Wildcats scored just 20 points in the paint, which were the fewest since posting 18 against Colorado on Nov. 27, 2020.

McGuirl was one of two Wildcats in double figures, scoring 15 points on 4-of-9 field goals, including 2-of-5 from 3-point range, to go with a 5-of-6 effort from the free throw line. He also added 4 rebounds and a team-tying 3 assists in 37 minutes of action. Freshman Selton Miguel scored in double digits for the second straight game with 10 points on 3-of-7 shooting to go along with a team-tying 5 rebounds and a team-tying 3 assists.

K-State played with a nearly fully healthy roster for the second straight game, as sophomore Kaosi Ezeagu played a home game for the first time since December 5 with nearly 20 minutes off the bench. Freshman point guard Nijel Pack was cleared but did not play for the fourth straight game. It is thought he will play here.

Why Bet on Baylor? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Baylor (14-0) won at Oklahoma State 81-66 on Saturday. Even without freshman Cade Cunningham, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, Oklahoma State led No. 2 Baylor most of the way through the first 28 minutes.

However, then Jared Butler drained three-consecutive 3-pointers in a decisive 19-1 run as the Bears turned a two-point deficit into a 16-point lead and remained undefeated.

“Man, he’s ridiculous,” junior point guard Davion Mitchell said of Butler, who had 22 points and six assists, connecting on all five of his second-half attempts from 3-point range. “He can really play the game of basketball, and he’s not cocky about it. When he was making those shots, he was telling us, good pass. He cared about his teammates more than himself.”

While Butler recorded his 15th career 20-point game and moved to 28th on Baylor’s all-time scoring list with 1,067 points, senior forward Mark Vital was a near-perfect 8-of-9 from the floor and finished with a career-high 19 points. He scored more second-half points (12) than his previous season high (9).

Baylor, which had never trailed by more than four points all year, got down by as many as nine in the first half and faced just its second halftime deficit. The Bears led for just 15:42 of the game. MaCio Teague was a team best +19 while on the court. He played only 13-minutes in the first half due to some foul trouble. Teague had 8 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

Butler was named NCAA National Player of the Week, Naismith Trophy Player of the Week and Big 12 Conference Player of the Week on Monday He averaged 26.0 points and 7.0 assists, while shooting 66.7 percent (18-27) from the field, including 81 percent (13-16) from the 3-point line.

Butler leads the Big 12 in steals (2.3), 3-point percentage (.494) and 3-pointers made (2.9), ranks third in scoring (17.1), second in assists (5.4), second in field goal percentage (.503) and sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.90). He’s tied for the Big 12 lead with four games of 20-plus points in conference play and ranks second in the league with five 20-point games on the season.

Expert Prediction  
  • Baylor 80, Kansas State 55

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