The Big 12 has been a gauntlet all season long and this Saturday is no different. Two long-time rivals meet once again, with each team trending in different directions. With both teams trying to gain momentum for March, Texas vs Baylor will be must-watch basketball.
Saturday’s Game of the Day: Texas vs Baylor
Texas comes into the matchup ranked 8th in the country and fresh off a Top 25 win. The Longhorns beat #23 Iowa State on Tuesday and are now 3-1 in their last four games against ranked teams. Texas enters the weekend tied with Kansas for first in the Big 12 standings. Additionally, Texas is ranked 9th in KenPom, 9th in NET, and is a projected 2-seed for the NCAA Tournament.
Leading the Longhorns is senior guard Marcus Carr who has been on fire as of late. Over his last five games, Carr is averaging 19.6 PPG and 4.2 APG, while also averaging 1.6 steals per game and shooting 40.6% from three. Off the bench, Sir’Jabari Rice has been a great sixth man for the Longhorns. In Big 12 conference play, he’s averaged over 13 PPG while shooting an efficient 45% overall.
Another key member of the Texas Longhorns is starting forward Timmy Allen. Allen does a little of everything and over his last five games, he has 11 PPG, 7 RPG, 3.4 APG, while also averaging a steal per game. In their earlier matchup against Baylor, Allen had one of his best games as he scored 18 points and shot 70% from the field.
The Baylor Bears enter the day ranked 9th but have struggled recently. They lost twice in Kansas the past few days, first to the Jayhawks 87-71 and then to the Wildcats 75-65. Prior to those two games, the Bears won ten of eleven games, with their only loss at Texas. Even with this two-game skid, Baylor is still tied for 3rd in the Big 12 standings. Baylor ranks 14th in KenPom, 12th in NET, and is projected as a 3-seed for March Madness.
Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua returned to the Bears lineup six games ago after suffering a devastating leg injury late in the 2022 season. He’s brought a spark off the bench so far, as he contributes 6.8 PPG and 6.0 RPG. Prior to his return, the Bears’ bench had been significantly underwhelming.
The Bears have been led by a three-headed monster of Keyonte George, Adam Flagler, LJ Cryer. All three guards average over 14 PPG and provide Baylor with a unique talent. George pulls in 4.5 RPG, Flagler dishes 4.9 APG, and Cryer shoots 43% from behind the arc. Most recently, George made six three-pointers against Kansas State, and against Kansas the trio combined for 57 points.
Season Sweep or Revenge?
The Longhorns defeated the Bears 76-71 in Austin at the end of January. Rice and Allen combined for 39 points for Texas and the team outrebounded Baylor 35-29. Baylor’s big three combined for 43 points but shot an awful 16/47 (34%). Baylor also got no help from their bench as they scored six total points. The rematch will take place Saturday in Waco at 2:00 PM EST on ESPN.
Official Prediction: Baylor only lost by five when they played Texas in a tough road atmosphere in Austin and the Bears’ guard trio had their worst game of the season. With this rematch at home in Waco, Baylor gets their revenge and snaps their current losing streak.