The No. 2 Baylor Bears return home Monday night to play host to the Oklahoma Sooners in a Big 12 Conference game. Baylor was able to survive a scare over the weekend in Stillwater, Okla., against a red-hot Oklahoma State team, pulling out a 75-68 victory.
Now, just 53 hours later, the Bears will host an Oklahoma team that also played on Saturday and will be on even fewer hours of rest. The Sooners hosted TCU on Saturday, putting up a 20-point victory, and will be boasting 51 hours of rest before their road matchup with the Bears.
Baylor is currently 15-1 and 5-0 in Big 12 play, boasting one of the best resumes in the nation, with their only stumble coming at the hands of the Washington Huskies in Alaska.
The Bears are led by the high-scoring backcourt of sophomore Jared Butler (16.9 points, 3.3 assists) and junior MaCio Teague (13.5 points, 5.0 rebounds). In the frontcourt, Freddie Gillespie (9.8 points, 8.9 rebounds) has stepped up nicely as forward Tristan Clark continues to battle injuries.
Oklahoma, currently 12-5 and 3-2 in conference play, is unranked but is coming off a nice win over a TCU team that had been beating up on the lower-tier Big 12 opponents.
The Sooners are led by a solid trio of junior Brady Manek (15.3 points, 6.3 rebounds), junior guard Austin Reaves (15.1 points, 5.4 rebounds) and senior forward Kristian Doolittle (16.4 points, 8.5 rebounds).
Freshman guard De’Vion Harmon has seemingly found his footing over the last three games, averaging 11.3 points per game, but is still less efficient than coach Lon Kruger would probably like, shooting just 39.3 percent over that span.
Baylor is a 10-point favorite at home, with the over/under set at 136.5.
Oklahoma Needs A Quality Win
To date, the best win on Oklahoma’s resume is Minnesota (currently 36th in Kenpom), which is not likely to remain a quality win as the season progresses. A win over a quality Baylor team would be a huge step in the at-large bid direction.
The Sooners are 5-4 straight up away from home but just 4-5 against the spread and 6-10-1 ATS overall. Oklahoma is also just 2-4 straight up as an underdog on the season.
In its last 14 games, Oklahoma is 3-10-1 ATS and has gone under in four of its last five games.
Is Baylor The Best Team In The Nation?
Given its resume and consistency, Baylor seemingly has the inside track on the overall No. 1 seed in the tournament, but there is still a long way to go. The Bears are a perfect 8-0 at home this season and 12-1 straight up as the favorite.
Baylor is 11-5 against the spread on the season and a perfect 5-0 ATS in its last five games. It has gone under in four of its last five games and six of their last seven games against Oklahoma.
Rip, Tear and Sic’ Em
Oklahoma certainly has the talent to pull off a massive upset here, as Doolittle is a bonafide star with a great supporting cast. However, in a quick turnaround like this, you have to give the advantage to the home team.
That said, Oklahoma State just blew this same opportunity against West Virginia recently. The Bears, though, are not Oklahoma State. Baylor should be re-focused after a lackluster performance over the weekend and win the game, but Oklahoma will keep it close. Take the Sooners to cover and take the under.
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