NCAA Basketball Game Preview: Baylor at Kansas State

Feb 21, 2023

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Game: Baylor Bears @ Kansas State Wildcats

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Odds: Bears -2, Wildcats +2

Total: 145.5

After losing in overtime to Kansas State last month, Baylor went on to win 10 of its next 11 games. Tonight, the No. 9 Bears (20-7, 9-5) and No. 14 Wildcats (20-7, 8-6) will both be looking for a win after losing their most recent game.

On Saturday, Baylor scored 45 points in the first half before giving up 55 in the second to lose to Kansas 87-71. The Bears’ effectiveness from outside the arc in each half—9-for-14 in the opening 20 minutes and 1-of-11 in the last 20—told the story of the game. Baylor played great transition defense in the first half, but committed far too many turnovers in the second.

Keyonte George hit five three-pointers and had 20 points in the loss. Adam Flagler added 22 points. In the 97-95 overtime loss to Kansas State on January 7, Flagler and George each scored 23 points. George, though, missed all five of his three-point attempts in the contest.

Kansas State will be tough to beat at home where the Wildcats are 14-1 this season. Wildcats head coach Jerome Tang is a former Baylor assistant under current Bears head coach Scott Drew. Drew is well aware that playing at Kansas State is always difficult.

The Wildcats’ second-leading scorer, Markquis Nowell, scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half of Kansas State’s 61-55 victory over No. 19 Iowa State on Saturday. Nowell, a 5-foot-8-inch guard, had 32 points and 14 assists in their previous matchup with Baylor. KSU leading scorer Keyontae Johnson had 15 points against the Cyclones. Johnson averages 17.4 points and 7.4 rebounds, both Wildcats’ bests. Nowell also averages a team-high 7.5 assists, which ranks third in the nation.

Tang has been following a strategy of resting his players more and cutting down on practice time. It has helped his players recover and play better. After a 79-65 loss to Oklahoma on Feb. 14, Tang began cutting back on practice time. It paid off with the win over Iowa State.

Baylor is 10-2 SU in its last 12 games and is 7-1 SU in its last eight games against Kansas State. The Bears are 4-1 ATS in their last five games and 5-2 ATS in their last seven against the Wildcats. Baylor has won four of their last six road games and the Bears are just 4-4 on the road for the season.

Kansas State is 14-6 SU and 13-7 ATS in its last 20 games. The Wildcats have had a tough time recently going just 2-5 SU in their last seven Big 12 games. KSU is also 2-7 SU in its last nine games played in the month of February.

Prior to the loss to the Wildcats in January, Baylor had completely owned Kansas State over the previous three seasons. In seven straight wins over the Wildcats, the Bears won by margins of 15, 25, 6, 48, 31, 19, and 6. In 10 of the last 13 Baylor-Kansas State games, the total has gone Over.

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