College Basketball Game of the Week: No. 8 Baylor vs. No. 10 Kansas
As the college basketball season gets closer to the postseason, fans are treated with high stakes matchups.
This week, Big 12 fans get the biggest battle of the year as No. 8 Baylor travels to Lawrence to take on No. 10 Kansas.
Last season, both teams each claimed a win in their two matchups.
Both teams sit at the top of the conference and look to gain another top-25 victory for their resume.
Here’s the tale of the tape for both sides.
No. 8 Baylor Bears
The Bears sit at 19-3 this season and 7-2 in conference play.
They had been very good to start the season until their 21-game winning streak dating back to last season was ended with a loss to Texas Tech.
The nation’s reigning champs were then upset for the second game in a row by Oklahoma State.
They recovered by claiming three victories over West Virginia, Oklahoma and Kansas State before dropping another game to Alabama.
The Bears are led by guards LJ Cryer and James Akinjo, who average 13.9 and 13.6 points, respectively.
Cryer is dealing with a lingering foot injury but hopes to play and make an impact in this game.
The duo makes a very good backcourt for the Bears that plays tremendous defense as well.
Baylor has held its opponents to an average of 61.4 points per game while it scores 78.8 points per game.
No. 10 Kansas Jayhawks
The Jayhawks are 18-3 this season and 7-1 in conference play.
They have had a great season thus far and look to get a key top-25 win.
They suffered a very disappointing loss to No. 12 Kentucky but were able to rebound nicely with a win over No. 20 Iowa State.
The Jayhawks were without their star player Ochai Agbaji who is currently in coronavirus protocols.
The 6-foot-5 inch senior guard leads the Big 12 in scoring at 20.9 points per game and hopes to return for this highly anticipated matchup.
If Agbaji is unable to play, look for Christian Braun and David McCormack to have big impacts in this game.
Braun is averaging 15.1 points for the Jayhawks while McCormack contributes 9.0 points per game himself.
Keys of the game
With both teams dealing with injuries to key players, the deciding factor could end up being the health of each roster.
Baylor is dealing with injuries to Cryer and Flagler, who are presumably out of the lineup and Kansas is trying to get Agbaji healthy while transfer Remy Martin remains sidelined with an injury.
If neither team can get any of its injured players back for the game, look for Kansas’ depth to wear down the Baylor defense who lacks depth on the roster.
The Baylor defense must be on its A game in this contest.
Kansas is averaging 80.0 points per game and if a healthy Agbaji can get back in the lineup, then Baylor could have its hands full.
On the other side, Kansas needs to force Baylor to turn the ball over and allow itself to get out and run in transition.
Allowing the Bears to set up their half-court defense could cause problems for the Jayhawks.
Baylor is dealing with injuries and a return from Agbaji could be tough for them to deal with.
Kansas is able to get a big win in this game by a score of 81-74.
Thomas English is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.