#2 Kansas (23-4, 11-3) at #19 Baylor (20-7, 9-5)
When: Tuesday, February 23rd 2016
Where: Ferrell Center, Waco, TX
Time: 8:00 ET | TV: ESPN2
The Kansas Jayhawks can move one step closer to another Big 12 regular season title on Tuesday when they visit the Baylor Bears. The Jayhawks have reeled off seven-straight victories including three ranked opponents (Kentucky, West Virginia, and Oklahoma). Kansas sits a game and a half in front of the Mountaineers in the conference standings with four games remaining on their schedule. Kansas followed up a thrashing of Oklahoma State with a road victory at rival Kansas State on Saturday. The Jayhawks shot 50% from the field against the Wildcats and are now 14th in the country in field goal percentage (49.0). Frank Mason led all scorers with 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting and Perry Ellis chipped in 14. Landen Lucas, who played only 13 minutes, led the team with eight rebounds and is averaging 11 in his last four games. Kansas throttled Baylor back on January 2nd in Lawrence 102-74 by shooting 53.7% including 11-of-19 from three-point land. The Jayhawks held the Bears to just 39.0% shooting in the victory. Kansas will have three more tests to finish the regular season when they take on Texas Tech, Texas, and Iowa State before the Big 12 Tournament.
Baylor lost three of four games to being February, but have bounced back with two quality wins over Iowa State and Texas. The 78-64 victory over the Longhorns on Saturday gave Baylor 20 wins and kept their hopes of winning the Big 12 alive. They start the week two games behind Kansas, but will finish the season against Oklahoma and West Virginia. The Baylor defense, which has struggled most of the season, had their best game in over a month holding Texas to 41.5% including 4-of-18 from 3-point territory. Offensively, the Bears shot an incredible 62.7% from the floor led by Johnathan Motley’s 24 points on 12-of-13 shooting. Motley, who averages 11.5 points a game, has scored 51 points in the last two games on 22-of-30 shooting. Leading scorer Taurean Prince (15.1) scored 17 and now has ten straight double-digit scoring efforts. Baylor is 15-3 at home this season, but all three of those losses have come in the last four Big 12 contests.
Kansas is rolling right now, but tonight’s contest won’t be easy. The Jayhawks are two point favorites in this one which seems about right. Baylor will give them a game, but in the end, the Jayhawks come away with the cover.
Pick: Kansas -2