Baylor and Missouri Meet in Columbia in Crucial Big 12 Match-up

Baylor Bears at Missouri Tigers, Mizzou Arena, Columbia, MO
Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Opening Line: Missouri -7 1/2
Current Line: Missouri -8 1/2
Opening Total: 148
Current Total: 146 1/2
Money Line: Missouri -400 / Baylor +330

Kim English and the Missouri Tigers host Baylor in Big 12 action Wednesday. The Tigers are 8 1/2 point home favorites.

These two teams have underachieved this season and are squarely on the bubble for making the NCAA tournament. This game is crucial for both teams to improve their resumes. Baylor is 17-9 overall and 6-6 in the Big 12. Missouri is ranked #20 or #21 depending on which poll you look at. The Tigers are 21-6 overall and 7-5 in conference. This game is also important for seeding in the Big 12 tournament, as the top 4 seeds get first round byes. Right now Missouri is alone in 4th place one game ahead of Nebraska, Kansas St, and Baylor. Nebraska and Kansas St also play against each other tonight so a Baylor win will create a 3 way tie for the four seed. Missouri has wins over Wyoming, Oregon, Vanderbilt, Illinois, Old Dominion, Nebraska, Kansas St, Iowa St twice, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech. They have won 4 of their last 5 games and 3 in a row including a 76-70 win at Iowa St Saturday. Missouri has losses to Georgetown, Colorado, Texas A&M, Texas, Oklahoma St, and Kansas. All of the Tigers losses are on the road or at a neutral location. Baylor has wins over Arizona St, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Colorado, Texas A&M, and Nebraska. They have losses to Gonzaga, Washington St, Florida St, Iowa St, Kansas, Kansas St, Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas Tech. The Bears lost at home to Texas tech Saturday 78-69, a game they absolutely couldn’t afford to lose.

Missouri leads the overall series 12-10 against Baylor and is 8-2 in Columbia. Missouri has won 2 of the last 3 meetings, and are 3-0 ATS in those games. The last 3 games have also gone under the total. Missouri is 38-24 ATS  a favorite the last 3 seasons.

Baylor has no significant injuries right now. Guard LaceDarius Dunn leads the team in scoring with 20.8 points a game. He also averages 4.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.6 steals a game. Dunn is shooting 39.2% from 3-point range. Freshman forward/center Perry Jones III is averaging 14.3 points, 7 rebounds, and 1.2 assists a game. Forward Quincy Acy leads the team in rebounds with 7.5 a game and blocks with 1.4 a game. He also averages 12.4 points. Guard A.J. Walton leads the team in assists with 5 a game and steals with 2.3 a game. Baylor is outscoring opponents 71-63 on the season. Baylor is shooting 47.7% from the field and 35.6% from 3-point range. Baylor opponents are shooting 41.6% from the field. The Bears shoot 69.4% from the free throw line. Baylor averages 35.7 rebounds a game and has a rebounding margin of +5.8. Baylor averages 12.3 assists and 15.9 turnovers a game. Baylor forces 15.2 turnovers a game on defense. The Bears average 7.4 steals and 4.1 blocks a game.

Missouri has no significant injuries right now. Missouri has 5 players scoring in double digits. Guard Marcus Denmon averages 16.6 points to lead the team, 3.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.9 steals a game to lead the team. He is also shooting 44.6% from 3 point range. Forward Ricardo Ratliffe averages 11.4 points, 6.4 rebounds to lead the team, 1.3 assists, and 1.4 blocks a game. Forward Laurence  Bowers averages 11.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1 steals, and 2 blocks a game to lead the team. Guard Kim English averages 10.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.3 steals a game.  Guard Michael Dixon averages 10.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.7 steals a game. Phil Pressey averages  4 assists to lead the team, and 1.8 steals a game. Missouri is outscoring opponents 84-71 on the season. Missouri is shooting 47.3% from the field and 37.5% from 3-point range. Tiger opponents are shooting 42.7% from the field. Missouri is shooting 72.7% from the free throw line. Missouri averages 36.7 rebounds a game and has a rebounding margin of -0.2. The Tigers average 17.1 assists and 12.8 turnovers a game. Missouri forces 18.1 turnovers a game on defense. They average 9.5 steals and 5.2 blocks a game.

Missouri is in better shape than Baylor as far as an at large bid for the NCAA Tournament. Baylor’s chances took a huge hit last week with the loss to 12-15 Texas Tech. Baylor’s schedule is brutal down the stretch with this game at Missouri, home games vs Texas A&M and Texas, and a road game at Oklahoma St, always a tough place to play no matter the Cowboy’s record. Missouri is the better team here especially at home where they are undefeated this year.

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