Now that The Jug has spent a good article’s worth of words discussing how dangerous Baylor is, it’s important to point out that Kansas State will win this basketball game. A lot of media sites still proclaim that Baylor is the more talented team and Drew Scott is a great coach, and that’s fine. Kansas State is 12-3 in conference play while Baylor is 8-7 because K-State is better. The Wildcats defeated Baylor by 20 points, 81-61, just two weeks ago because they’re the better team. Despite Baylor’s height advantage, it isn’t necessarily the better rebounding team – the Bears have a +0.9 rebounding margin in league play, while at +0.7 the Wildcats aren’t fall behind. K-State’s starting five may be shorter, but they’re more athletic. And that athleticism is good for creating steals too – K-State leads the league in turnover margin at +2.6, while Baylor is sixth at -0.33.
Additionally, K-State is one of the few teams capable of keeping Austin in check. The 6’11” Jordan Henriquez is nimble enough to keep up with him (Henriquez will be back after missing Monday’s game to attend the funeral of his grandmother). In his past two games against Baylor, Henriquez has poured in 32 points to go along with 24 rebounds and nine blocks. Additionally, forward Thomas Gipson has been more impressive each passing game since January – in Henriquez’s absence he led the team with 20 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks against Texas Tech. He finished seven-of-nine from the field.
The Vegas line has Baylor by three, but that’s plain ridiculous. Baylor has lost four straight games to top 25 teams, its only victory this season against a ranked team was then number eight Kentucky (although we now know that Kentucky is not a good team). This KSU team is clicking. There’s been great maturity demonstrated over the past season – it was hard to have a lot of confidence in a team that was embarrassed by Michigan and Gonzaga while struggling in putting away lowly opponents such as Delaware. However, the players have persevered. They’ve bought into Weber’s offense, and its clicking. This is a Wildcat team that’s dangerous at home or on the road. Go make some money tomorrow; pick the “upset” in Waco. Prediction: K-State 76, Baylor 64