The Kansas Jayhawks will be at home in Lawrence, Kan. to welcome the Baylor Bears in the Allen Fieldhouse. Below is the Kansas vs. Baylor prediction and game preview.
Kansas vs. Baylor Game Preview
Date: Saturday, Jan. 2
Game Time: 4 p.m. EST
Venue: Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kan.
Why You Need To Care
Buckle up. It’s time for Big 12 conference play, and we have a top-25 matchup right out of the gates.
No. 2 Kansas comes into this one at 11-1 and with the sixth-highest scoring offense in the nation, averaging 87.2 points while giving up 64.2 points per game.
The Jayhawks ran into Denzel Valentine and fell to the Michigan State Spartans early, but it’s been nothing but a winning brand of basketball since then. Kansas has rattled off 10 straight wins — including a 78-53 win against UC-Irvine its last time out.
The Bears aren’t going to be a pushover, though. They enter as the No. 23-ranked team in the country with a 10-2 record. Baylor’s only two losses this season have come on the road against Oregon and Texas A&M.
Since falling to the Aggies, 80-61, two weeks ago, the Bears have won back-to-back games against New Mexico State and Texas Southern. But they’ll have a lot on their plate going into the Allen Fieldhouse.
Why Kansas Will Win
Frank Mason III can make it easier on his team by hitting jump shots early. He’ll draw extra attention and create room to put the ball on the floor to set up Wayne Selden Jr and Perry Ellis for open looks at the rim. Selden will have to knock down a couple threes to get going, as he went 0-of-3 from behind the arc against UC-Irvine. Mason and Hunter Mickelson need to make plays on the defensive end to get Kansas out on the break.
Why Baylor Will Win
Taurean Prince has been up and down the past few games. He and Al Freeman went cold from the field in the loss to Texas A&M, so they’ll have to find a rhythm early against Kansas, who forces its opponents to shoot 39.2 percent from the field. If Baylor rotates and forces the Jayhawks, who shoot the third-highest percentage from three (45 percent), to put the ball on the floor, then the Bears will be in a good position to win.
What’s Going To Happen?
Prince is going to have another subpar shooting performance, and Selden will provide some momentous triples to get Kansas out to an early lead. The Jayhawks will share the basketball and keep Baylor from doing the same. A few contested jumpers and a handful off assists from Mason later, and Kansas will tack on another victory to its record.
Kansas vs. Baylor Prediction
Robert Judin: Kansas 81, Baylor 75
Line: Kansas -11.5, o/u: 146.5