|11.5 OKST (-110) @ sportsinteraction|
My 9* Ultimate Underdog is on Oklahoma St at 7:00 ET.
Following a long shutdown due to COVID-19, Baylor won 'ugly' against lowly Iowa State on Feb 23 and then suffered its first loss of the season on Saturday at Kansas, falling 71-58. Baylor fell to No. 3 in the new AP poll on Monday (had been No. 2 in EVERY previous poll) but on Tuesday night, the Bears (now 19-1 / 11-2 in the Big 12) looked every bit the part of a national title contender with a gritty 94-89 overtime win at No. 6 West Virginia. Oklahoma St entered the top-25 on Feb 8 at No. 23 for the first time since Feb of 2015. However, the Cowboys fell out of the next two polls, despite not losing. A new poll came out Monday and the Cowboys were ranked 17th. The Cowboys celebrated that night, beating "Bedlam" rival Oklahoma 79-75 in Stillwater (had won at Norman 94-90 in OT on Saturday.
Baylor's Scott Drew took over a devastated Baylor program in the 2003-04 season and since 2007-08, has turned the Bears into one of the best programs in the country. Baylor won the NIT in 2013 and has made eight NCAA tourney appearances (26-4 last season would have made nine). Baylor lost 6-9 center Gillespie (9.6 & 9.0) from last year's team but the strength of Baylor's team this season is centered around its guards. Butler's (16.9-3.2-5.0) the best of the group but don't look past Teague (14.6 & 4.2), Mitchell (13.8 & 5.6 APG), Flagler (10.2) or Mayer (8.1) The 6-5 Vital (5.9 & 6.0) plays like a power forward and is considered one of the best defensive players in the nation. Tchatchoua is a 6-8 transfer from UNLV and he's averaged 7.3 & 5,7 plus the 6-10 Thamba adds 4.0 & 4.4.
Mike Boynton took over in Stillwater when Brad Underwood left for Illinois and in his first three seasons, the Cowboys were an underwhelming 51-49. However, led by super-frosh Cade Cunningham, the Cowboys are 17-6 overall, including 10-6 in the Big 12. The 6-8 Cade Cunningham (19.5-6.3-3.5) has been as good (if not better than advertised). He's joined in the starting lineup by guards Anderson (10.3 & 4.0), Walker (8.9),and Williams (8,0) plus the 6-9 Boone (9.8 & 5.6). The 6-5 Likekele (9.8-6.9-3.7) and the 6-7 Moncrieffe (9.2 & 5.6) are big contributors off the bench.
Drew's run at Baylor has been HUGELY successful and the win at West Va gave the school its first regular season title since 1950 (SWC). The Bears outscored West Virginia 13-8 in overtime while holding the Mountaineers to one made field goal. Drew couldn't wait to celebrate after the victory and jumped on 6-5 senior guard Mark Vital's back before heading to the locker room. Congrats to Baylor but returning home after its HUGE win and laying double digits to an Oklahoma St team that has won FIVE in row (THREE over ranked teams) and owns the likely No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft seems like a 'bridge too far.' Take those big points!