Big 12 Battle in Waco: Kansas St Wildcats at Baylor Bears

Kansas St Wildcats at #10 Baylor Bears
Ferrell Center – Waco, Texas
Saturday, February 18, 2012, 1:45 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN FC, Altitude
Opening Line: Baylor -7 1/2
Current Line: Baylor -7
Opening Total: 136 1/2
Current Total; 136 1/2
Opening  Money Line: Baylor -340 / Kansas St +280
Current Money Line: Baylor -340 / Kansas St +280

Baylor is a 7 point favorite at home against struggling Kansas St Saturday in Big 12 action.

At the beginning of Big 12 play Kansas St looked like they were going to compete for the conference title. However, a disappointing 6-7 conference record has the 17-8 Wildcats in sixth place in the conference and on the bubble for an NCAA tournament bid. K-State has lost 2 games in a row at Texas and at home against Kansas Monday night 59-53. Kansas St is desperate for a victory as they travel to Baylor to take on the 22-4 Bears who are 9-4 in conference. Baylor is two games behind first place Missouri and Kansas. The Bears beat Iowa St at home 79-64 Monday night to snap a two game losing streak to Kansas and Missouri. Kansas St leads the series 13-11 against Baylor, but the Bears are 5-3 in Waco. Baylor won at Kansas St 75-73 last month in the last meeting. In that game Kansas St was up 44-37 in the second half before Baylor went on a 20-4 run that put them up 58-50. The Bears held on for the narrow win.

Kansas St is coached by Frank Martin. The Wildcats have losses to West Virginia, Kansas twice, Oklahoma twice, Iowa St, and Texas. Kansas St has wins over George Washington, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Southern Illinois, UTEP, Long Beach St, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma St, Texas Tech twice, and Texas A&M.

Baylor is coached by Scott Drew. The Bears’ only losses are to Kansas and Missouri, who have each beaten Baylor twice. Baylor has wins over San Diego St, Northwestern, BYU, St. Mary’s, West Virginia, Mississippi St, Texas A&M twice, Texas Tech, Oklahoma St twice, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Kansas St is outscoring opponents 72-63 this season. The Wildcats are shooting 43.3% from the field including 32.9% on 3 point shots. KSU makes 66.1% of their free throws. The Wildcats average 38.7 rebounds a game and have a rebounding margin of +6. K-State averages 14 assists and 15 turnovers, 6 steals and 4.6 blocks a game. Kansas St opponents are shooting 39.7% from the field, including 30.7% on three pointers. The Wildcats force 16.7 turnovers a game.

KSU  Guard Rodney McGruder averages 14.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists a game and 1.2 steals a game, and is shooting 34% from 3 point range. He leads the team in scoring and steals. Will Spradling averages 10.4 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 2.6 assists a game.  He makes 36.4% of his three pointers. Forward Jamar Samuels averages 10 points, 6.4 rebounds a game to lead the team,  and 1.2 assists a game. Thomas Gipson averages 8.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1 assist a game. Angel Rodriguez averages 7.4 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists to lead the team, and 1 steal a game. Jordan Henriquez averages 5.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2 blocks a game to lead the team. Forward James Watson is out indefinitely due to being ineligible.

Baylor is outscoring opponents 75-64 this season. The Bears are shooting 48.1% from the field, including 39.0% from 3 point range. Baylor is in the top 25 nationally in both categories.  Baylor makes 73.6% from the free throw line. The Bears average 36.7 rebounds a game, and have a rebounding margin of +5.1. Baylor averages 15.3 assists, 14.3 turnovers, 8.1 steals, and 5.4 blocks a game. Baylor opponents are shooting 40.4% from the field, including 33.5% from 3 point range. The Bears force 15 turnovers a game on defense.

Baylor has 4 players averaging double digit scoring. Perry Jones III averages 14 points, 7.6 rebounds to lead the team, 1.2 assists, and 1.1 steals a game. Quincy Miller averages 12.4 points, 5 rebounds, and 1.6 assists a game. Miller is shooting 43.1% from 3 point range. Pierre Jackson averages 12.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.7 steals a game to lead the team in the latter two categories. He is shooting 44% from 3 point range. Quincy Acy averages 12.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1 steals, and 2.1 blocks a game to lead the team.  Brady Heslip averages 9 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 1.1 assists a game. He makes 43.7% of his three point shots.

Baylor is 8-11 ATS and the total is 10-9 this season. Kansas St is 9-12 ATS and the total is 10-11 this season. The underdog is 11-3 in the last 14 in this series. The Wildcats are 7-16 ATS in road games, 2-5 after a cover, 6-16 in road games against teams with winning home records, 1-4 in Saturday games, as an underdog, as a road underdog, as an underdog of 7-12.5 points, and as a road underdog of the same spread, 1-5 overall, and in Big 12 games, 0-5 after a straight up win, and 0-8 against teams with winning records. The Bears are 2-5 ATS at home and as a home favorite, 8-21 in Big 12 games, 2-6 as a home favorite of 7-12.5 points, 1-4 as a favorite, and against teams with winning records, 1-5 overall, 1-9 after a cover, 0-4 in Saturday games, and 0-5 after a straight up win.

Kansas St is reeling right now but they gave rival Kansas a tough game on Monday night. I expect another close game between Baylor and Kansas St with both teams hungry for a win.

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