No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 7 South Carolina Preview, Game Prediction

    Baylor vs. South Carolina prediction and game preview, as the No. 3 Bears and No. 7 Gamecocks face off in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

    March 20, 2017

    Baylor vs. South Carolina prediction and game preview, as the No. 3 Bears and No. 7 Gamecocks face off in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

    After Baylor was given a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament, it was matched up against No. 14 New Mexico State and won 91-73. That victory led the Bears to a second-round matchup with No. 11 USC. However, Baylor took down the Trojans, 82-78.

    The Bears’ competitor in the Sweet 16 will be the No. 7-seeded Gamecocks. They ran through No. 10 Marquette in the first round of the tournament, 93-73. That set the stage for a matchup with No. 2 Duke. South Carolina managed to take down Mike Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils, 88-81.

    Baylor vs. South Carolina Game Preview

    Date: March 24, 2017
    Venue: Madison Square Garden, New York, N.Y.
    Region: East

    Baylor wins if …

    If the Bears continue to crash the glass with authority, they’ll be just fine. They out-rebounded USC, 34-23, and they cleaned up on the offensive boards as well, grabbing 14 offensive rebounds. Johnathan Motley provided a lot of the effort by pulling down 10 rebounds, six on offense. Terry Maston tacked on nine rebounds of his own.

    Motley also needs to provide an interior scoring presence for Baylor. He was 9-of-12 against the Trojans for 19 points. Mason tied him for the team-high with 19 points of his own on 7-of-13 shooting. If they keep scoring at the rate they have been, and the Bears continue to get to the foul line (13-of-15 vs USC), then Baylor will be in a position to win.

    South Carolina wins if …

    If the Gamecocks keep Baylor off the boards. Against Duke, they won the glass with most of the effort coming on the offensive side of the court. South Carolina pulled down 15 offensive rebounds and won the overall rebounding battle, 37-34. Chris Silva tallied 10 of those rebounds with five coming on each end of the floor.

    Another way the Gamecocks can set themselves up for a win over Baylor would be to play the same tough-nosed defense they’ve played all year. They forced 18 turnovers against Duke while turning it over only 11 times themselves. If South Carolina can get to the bucket and draw some calls while keeping the Bears off the line, they’ll have a great shot at coming out on top.

    Baylor vs. South Carolina Prediction

    The Gamecocks have played terrific defense all year long, but they won’t be able to hold Baylor under 80 points in this game. The Bears will be led by Motley and Maston in scoring yet again, as both will find their way to double figures. South Carolina will come up with some big defensive stands, but Baylor will shut down the paint and will pull away in the final moments of the second half.

    Baylor vs. South Carolina Score Prediction: Baylor 84, South Carolina 78

    MORE: Complete NCAA Tournament Bracket, Previews, Predictions


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