Kansas vs. Baylor Prediction, Game Preview

    Kansas vs. Baylor prediction and game preview. The No. 2 Jayhawks and No. 3 Bears meet in a Big 12 showdown Wednesday night at Allen Fieldhouse.

    January 31, 2017

    Kansas vs. Baylor prediction and game preview. The No. 2 Jayhawks and No. 3 Bears meet in a Big 12 showdown Wednesday night at Allen Fieldhouse.

    Kansas vs. Baylor Game Preview

    When: Wednesday, Feb. 1 – 9 p.m. ET
    Where: Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kan.
    TV Broadcast: ESPN2

    Kansas responded to the blowout loss at the hands of West Virginia by going on the road to Rupp Arena and rallying to beat Kentucky. Instead of falling apart in the second half like they did against the Mountaineers, the Jayhawks stormed back from a 12-point deficit, cutting it to five by halftime and outscoring the Wildcats by 11 in the final 20 minutes to win, 79-73.

    Freshman Josh Jackson continues to impress as he finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds after netting 22 against West Virginia. He’s snapped out of his shooting slump by hitting 6-of-9 from 3-point range over those two games, but he could have a tough time hitting from distance against a Baylor team that ranks second in the Big 12 in opponents’ 3-point percentage at 30.5.

    The Bears are 20-1 and have won five in a row since falling at West Virginia as the Jayhawks did. They had a tough test in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, though, having to rally from 15 down in the first half to earn a 78-75 road road win. Manu Lecomte led that charge, scoring 17 points while hitting 5 of 6 from 3-point range.

    Baylor has lost the last eight meetings with Kansas and has lost all 14 times it has played at Allen Fieldhouse. The Bears won’t be able to afford falling behind early if they want to knock off the Jayhawks in Lawrence.

    Kansas Wins If …

    … Frank Mason takes over. Yes, the Jayhawks have a ton of talent even with Carlton Bragg Jr. suspended. Jackson, Devonte’ Graham, etc. But Mason is the catalyst, and in a game that’s sure to be close, Kansas will need its point guard to be the most efficient player on the floor. If Mason can get to the basket and regularly and score or get to the free throw line – he’s attempted at least 10 free throws five times this season – then the Jayhawks should be in good shape.

    Baylor Wins If …

    … Johnathan Motley exposes Kansas down low. The Jayhawks start four guards/slashers and 6-foot-10 Landen Lucas, who is going to have his hands full with Motley. The Baylor big man’s averages over the last four games: 22.0 points, 11.5 rebounds, 50.9 percent from the field, 80 percent from the free throw line. The Bears and Jayhawks are at the top of the Big 12 in rebound differential per game, but Baylor is nearly three boards better (plus-8.4 compared to plus-5.6). If Motley has his way down low, the Bears could leave Lawrence with a victory for the first time ever.

    Matchup To Watch

    Mason vs. Lecomte

    The 5-foot-11 guards will go at each other all night. Lecomte, the transfer from Miami, is averaging 14.7 points per game over his last three while hitting 10 of 21 from 3-point range. He has five games of making at least four 3s. Mason will attack the hoop and go after Lecomte, making for a great matchup.

    Betting Odds

    Spread: Kansas -6.5
    Over/Under: No line as of post

    Kansas vs. Baylor Prediction

    The Jayhawks are going to have to fend off a tough Bears team, but they’ll get the job done with the help of Mason and Jackson. Kansas wins a tight game after going in a big run in the final four minutes.

    Kansas vs. Baylor final score prediction: Kansas 84, Baylor 76

    MORE: NCAA Tournament Projections – Teams On Outside Looking In


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