On Tuesday, the No. 2 Baylor Bears (24-2, 13-1) host the Kansas State Wildcats (9-18, 2-12) in Big 12 Conference play inside the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 pm EST. The Bears knocked off the Wildcats by seven (63-57) the last time these two teams met earlier this month on Feb. 3.
A win Tuesday night will keep the Bears tied atop the conference standings with Kansas with three conference games to play. Baylor is a 14.5-point favorite in the contest.
What to Know – Kansas State
The Kansas State Wildcats are on the verge of recording their worst season in the eight-year head coaching tenure of Bruce Weber. Kansas State has fallen on hard times, losing its last seven contests.
This season will mark just the second time the Wildcats will finish below .500 for the season, which happened last in 2014-15. The Wildcats haven’t been good this season, and they’ve been even worse on the road, tallying a 1-8 road record.
Senior guard Xavier Sneed (14.7 ppg) leads the KSU charge on offense while redshirt junior guard Cartier Diarra (12.9 ppg) is the other lone Wildcat averaging double figures. Sneed has recorded 15 points in each of the last three games. However, KSU has scored below their season average over the last five contests.
Advanced statistics are not kind to the Wildcats, who average 64.3 points per game and allow 64.9 ppg. KenPom ranks Kansas State 100th while the NET rankings put them at 101. The scoring average ranks dead last in the conference.
What to Know – Baylor
Baylor dropped its first conference contest of the season to Kansas on Saturday and fell from the No. 1 spot in the rankings. It was Baylor’s first loss since a three-point defeat in its second game of the season to Washington. Up until Baylor’s loss to the Jayhawks, the Bears had been perfect on their home floor. The loss also snapped a 22-game winning streak.
The Bears feature a pair of guards in sophomore Jared Butler (15.6 ppg) and redshirt junior MaCio Teague (14.4 ppg) that handle a bulk of the scoring. Butler and Teague are excellent shooters, entering the week both in the top 10 in the conference in scoring and three-point field goals made. Butler paced the Bears with 20 points in the last outing against the Wildcats.
Baylor features the fourth-best scoring offense in the league, averaging 70.8 points per game. On defense, the Bears allow 58.4 ppg, which is third in the conference. The Bears rank second in both the KenPom and NET rankings.
The Pick is In
Baylor is looking to bounce back after a big loss at home to now-No. 1 Kansas. Kansas State is looking to play spoiler to a historic season for the Bears. Baylor does not blow a lot of teams out, but its track record shows it has the tendency to beat up on conference bottom dwellers at home. Give us Baylor +14.5.