#19 Baylor Bears at Texas Longhorns
Frank Erwin Center – Austin, Texas
Monday, March 2, 2015, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Opening Line: Texas -2 1/2
Current Line: Texas -3 1/2
Opening Total: 126
Current Total: 129
Opening Money Line: Texas -135 / Baylor +115
Current Money Line: Texas -170 / Baylor +150
The Baylor Bears and Texas Longhorns are two teams going in opposite directions as they face each other Monday in Austin. The 22-7 Byalor Bears have won 4 straight games and are making a late charge for at least a share of the Big 12 regular season title. The Bears are 10-6 in conference and tied for third with Iowa State and West Virginia. All three teams trail 12-4 Kansas and 11-5 Oklahoma with two games left to play in the regular season. Meanwhile, Texas has lost 4 straight games to fall to 17-12 overall and 6-10 in conference. The Longhorns are in 8th place in the conference and might have played themselves out of an NCAA tournament bid.
In a series that dates back to 1905, Texas leads the series 160-84 including 87-28 in Austin. Baylor has won 2 straight games in the series including 83-60 in Waco January 31. This is the last scheduled meeting between the teams this season but they could meet in the Big 12 tournament next week.
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Baylor is coached by Scott Drew. The Bears have losses to Illinois in Las Vegas, road losses at Oklahoma, Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Kansas and home losses to Kansas and Oklahoma State. Baylor has road wins at South Carolina, Vanderbilt, TCU, West Virginia, Texas Tech, and Iowa State, a neutral site win over Memphis in Las Vegas, and home wins over Stephen F. Austin, Texas Southern, Texas A&M, New Mexico State, Iowa State Oklahoma, Texas, TCU, Kansas State and West Virginia 78-66 Saturday. Baylor is 13-9-1 ATS and the total is 12-10-1 this season. The Bears were 5 point favorites against West Virginia and the total was 137.5.
Texas is coached by Rick Barnes. The Longhorns have road losses at Kentucky, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Baylor, Oklahoma and West Virginia, and Kansas 69-64 Saturday, along with home losses to Stanford, Oklahoma, Kansas, Oklahoma State, and Iowa State. Texas has neutral site wins over Iowa and California in a tournament in New York, home wins over North Dakota State, Long Beach State, Rice, West Virginia, TCU, and Texas Tech, plus road wins over Connecticut, Texas Tech, TCU and Kansas State. The Longhorns are 15-12 ATS and the total is 9-13 this season. Texas was a 7.5 point underdog against Kansas and the total was 137.5.
Baylor is outscoring teams 70-59 this season. The Bears are #21 nationally in points allowed. Baylor is shooting 43.5% from the field and 38.5% from 3 point range. The Bears are #41 nationally in free throw shooting. The Bears make 66.5% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 39.5% from the field and 28.9% from 3 point range. The Bears are #38 in field goal defense and #9 in 3 point defense nationally. Baylor averages 40.2 rebounds per game and opponents average 28.4 per game. The Bears are #5 nationally in rebounding. Baylor averages 15.1 assists, 12.5 turnovers, 7.7 steals and 4.2 blocks per game. Opponents average 15 assists, 12.1 turnovers, 6.5 steals and 3.9 blocks per game.
Forward Taureen Prince averages 13.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.4 steals and 1 block per game. Kenny Chery averages 11.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Rico Gathers averages 11.2 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game. Royce O’Neale averages 9.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. Johnathan Motley averages 8.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. Lester Medford averages 8.1 points, 1.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Al Freeman, Deng Deng, and Ishmail Wainwright will also get minutes in the rotation.
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Texas is outscoring teams 69-61 this season. The Longhorns are #39 nationally in points allowed. Texas is shooting 44.1% from the field including 34.3% from 3 point range. The Longhorns make 72.3% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 36.6% from the field including 34.3% from 3 point range. Texas is #4 in field goal defense nationally. The Longhorns average 40.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 26 per game. Texas is in the top 8 nationally in both categories. The Longhorns average 13 assists, 13.3 turnovers, 3.8 steals and 7.4 blocks per game. Opponents average 10.7 assists, 9.2 turnovers, 6.4 steals and 3 blocks per game.
Texas guard Isaiah Taylor averages 13.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1 steal per game. Myles Turner averages 11.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. Jonathan Holmes averages 10.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists. Javan Felix averages 9.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Cameron Ridley averages 8.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. Demarcus Holland averages 7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. Kendal Yancy, Connor Lammert, Prince Ibeh, and Jordan Barnett will also get minutes in the rotation.
Baylor is 5-1 ATS after a straight up win, 4-1 after a cover, 5-2 against teams with winning records, and 1-3-2 in Monday games. The road team is 7-3 ATS in the last 7 games in this series. The Bears are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 trips to Austin.
Texas is 8-3 ATS in Monday games, 2-8 at home, and 1-4 after a cover. The over is 6-1-1 ATS in the last 8 games in this series, including 3-0-1 in Austin.
Texas has lost 4 straight games but this is the last game of a five game gauntlet of the league’s five best teams. Granted all four losses have been by 8 points or less. Baylor dominated the last meeting in Waco. This game will be closer but the Bears still win as they make the 100 mile trip south on the I-35.