Big 12 Quarterfinals: Kansas St Wildcats vs Baylor Bears

2012 Big 12 Tournament – Quarterfinals
#5 Kansas St Wildcats vs #4 Baylor Bears
Sprint Center – Kansas City, Missouri
Thursday, March 8, 2012, 12:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Opening Line: Baylor -1 1/2
Current Line: Baylor -2 1/2
Opening Total: 135 1/2
Current Total: 134 1/2
Opening Money Line: Baylor -135 / Kansas St +115
Current Money Line: Baylor -140 / Kansas St +120

Quincy Acy and Baylor take on Kansas St in the Big 12 quarterfinals Thursday in Kansas City.

The #11 Baylor Bears are 25-6 this season and finished tied for third place in the Big 12 with a 12-6 record with Iowa St. The Cyclones had the tiebreaker so they are the #3 seed. Baylor will take on the #5 seed Kansas St in the quarterfinals Thursday. The Wildcats are 21-9 overall and 10-8 in conference. Kansas St has won 4 of their last 5 games including 77-58 over Oklahoma St Saturday at home to close out the regular season. Baylor lost 80-72 at Iowa St Saturday to snap a 3 game winning streak.

Baylor and Kansas St split the season series with each winning a very close game on the road. Baylor won in Manhattan 75-73 January 10, and Kansas St won 57-56 in Waco last month. Kansas St leads the series 14-11 against Baylor.

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

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

Kansas St is outscoring opponents 71-63 this season. The Wildcats are shooting 44.1% from the field including 34.1% on 3 point shots. KSU makes 66.3% of their free throws. The Wildcats average 37.6 rebounds a game and have a rebounding margin of +5.2. K-State averages 14.4 assists, 14.5 turnovers, 6.1 steals and 4.8 blocks a game. Kansas St opponents are shooting 40.2% from the field, including 32% on three pointers. The Wildcats force 16.3 turnovers a game.

KSU  Guard Rodney McGruder averages 15.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists a game and 1.1 steals a game, and is shooting 39.3% from 3 point range. He leads the team in scoring. Forward Jamar Samuels averages 10.3 points, 6.8 rebounds a game to lead the team,  and 1.3 assists a game.  Will Spradling averages 9.7 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists a game.  He makes 34.6% of his three pointers. Angel Rodriguez averages 7.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists to lead the team, and 1.3 steals a game to lead the team.  Thomas Gipson averages 7.3 points and 4.8 rebounds, a game.  Jordan Henriquez averages 6.7 points, 5rebounds, and 2.3 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 47.2% from the field, including 38.5% from 3 point range. Baylor is in the top 40 nationally in both categories.  Baylor makes 74.9% from the free throw line. The Bears average 36.5 rebounds a game, and have a rebounding margin of +5. Baylor averages 15 assists, 14.1 turnovers, 7.9 steals, and 4.9 blocks a game. Baylor opponents are shooting 40.7% from the field, including 33.6% from 3 point range. The Bears force 14.7 turnovers a game on defense.

Baylor has 4 players averaging double digit scoring. Pierre Jackson averages 13.5 points, 3 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 1.7 steals a game to lead the team in the latter two categories. He is shooting 45.3% from 3 point range. Perry Jones III averages 13.1 points, 7.5 rebounds to lead the team, 1.3 assists, and 1 steal a game. Quincy Acy averages 12.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1 steals, and 2 blocks a game to lead the team. Quincy Miller averages 11.5 points, 5 rebounds, and 1.6 assists a game. Miller is shooting 37.3% from 3 point range.    Brady Heslip averages 9.3 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 1 assists a game. He makes 43% of his three point shots.

Baylor is 10-14 ATS and the total is 12-12 this year. Kansas St is 13-13 ATS and the total is also 13-13. The underdog is 12-3 ATS in the last 15 in this series. The Wildcats are 4-1 overall, and in Big 12 games, and 2-9 against teams with winning records. The Bears are 3-8 overall, and in Big 12 games, 2-7 against teams with winning records, and 1-4 in neutral site games.

These two teams are evenly matched and play similar styles. I see no reason why this shouldn’t be another close game, as they have played twice and both games were decided by a total of 3 points. I think both teams have a great shot of making the NCAA tournament and are playing to improve their seeding. I will take Kansas St to win.

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