Kansas v Baylor

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The only thing that could make this game any better tonight when undefeated Baylor comes into the Phog is if Dickie V wasn’t calling the damn game.  Vitale will do his best to ruin a great matchup with all his ooooooo are you serious and his dipsy dunksy a roo’s bullshit, but the matchup on the court is good enough to outweigh the negatives that Dick brings to the table.  I know that’s a little petty, but that’s the only negative I see about this game tonight.

We all know Baylor hasn’t lost all year and that everyone outside of Lawrence believes this is supposed to be a “down” year for the Jayhawks, but throw all that shit out the window when they come to Allen Fieldhouse.  A place where Baylor is 0-9, against a team that they are 2-16 against overall, but this year you can throw that shit out as well.  Baylor picked a hell of year to have their best team ever.  They are and should be the favorite to win the Big 12 this year.  If Baylor wins tonight you can pretty much lock that up in my mind.

Baylor is loaded with NBA talent and they are a freakishly long and athletic team that very much resembles Kansas teams of the last few years.  There are very few times when a team brings more talent into the Phog than what the Jayhawks have, but this is definitely one of those times.  Two, possibly three first round picks, the Bears want to make a statement against the team that has owned this conference.  As if the 106-65 drubbing of a bad Oklahoma St team wasn’t enough, now they are looking to have a coming out party on national television in the best venue in college basketball.

When I look at Baylor, I see balanced scoring, unselfishness and plenty of guys that can shoot.  The only player averaging over 30 minutes a game is Jones III, while all 5 Kansas starters are over the 30min mark.  I really didn’t think Scott Drew was a capable coach, but I think he just has enough good players to overcome his ineptitude in game planning.  Baylor plays a 2-3 zone a lot which is where HCBS will have to be effective in his one day of preparation, but I trust the man to have the guys fully prepared for a coach he is 8-1 against.  The best way to beat a zone is to hit your open shots behind the arc, which will probably be the biggest key to the game.  The Jayhawks ball movement will create the open opportunities, but we just need to capitalize on them to win.

I see Jones and Robinson both having big games and kind of cancelling each other out and the game will be decided by contributions from the role players.  I like Releford and Johnson’s ability to lock down on defense and limit the number of open looks behind the arc and have plenty of faith in Withey’s defensive abilities.  As long as the big man plays his game, blocks some shots and takes it to the rim when Robinson draws the double team, I like that matchup.

Jackson and Taylor’s matchup at the point should be a good one of really fast guards.  Taylor needs to avoid the dumbass, unnecessary drives into the middle where he just goes out of control and loses possession without a good look. 

As far as the starters go I like how Kansas matches up, but the Kansas bench play as been so inconsistent and that’s what worries me.  Baylor will be going 9 to 10 deep and Kansas really needs the best games yet out of Tehan, Young and Wesley.

Baylor has played a nice schedule, but no top 10 teams.  This will be Kansas’s 5th matchup with a team ranked in the top 10.  While the Bears did go to Northwestern and beat them by 28, that’s the only time I’ve seen them put away a good opponent.  They beat SDSU by 10, BYU by 3, West Virginia in overtime by 2 and Mississippi St by 2 and have 3 of their last 6 victories decided by 2 points.  17-0 is what it is, but that many close games they are bound to trip up eventually and this is the best team they will have faced yet this year. 

Kansas is 4-0 in conference play and in those 4 games has won by an average of 18.25 points.  This will be the Jayhawks biggest hurdle in route to winning the 8th straight conference title, but if they can and get to 5-0 and give Baylor a black eye, it would go a long way in accomplishing that.  Kansas has won 84 of the past 85 games at Allen Fieldhouse and that place is going to be as crazy as anyone has seen all year.

I’m looking forward to one of the best games all year and hopefully the Jayhawks come away with a win.  Going 79-76 Kansas, but I am not going near putting money on that.

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~ by kcuncensored on January 16, 2012.

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