Baylor Bears vs. Kentucky Wildcats
The Baylor Bears and the Kentucky Wildcats meet on Sunday in Atlanta for a NCAA Tournament Elite 8 match up with a trip to the Final Four going to the winner. The Wildcats are -7.5 point favorites over the Bears with an over/under point total set at 146.
The Baylor Bears have notched 30 wins this season including three in the NCAA Tournament but Scott Drew’s team has a bigger prize in mind and that is to be cutting down the nets after this game and headed to the Final Four. Baylor has knocked off South Dakota State, Colorado, and Xavier to get to this point and they have been tested and passed all tests. Against Xavier Quincy Acy had 20 points and 15 rebounds, Pierre Jackson had 16 points and 10 assists, Percy Jones III had 14 points, and Brady Heslip had 11 points. As a team the Bears shot 50.9 percent from the floor, 33.3 percent from beyond the three point arc, and 85.7 percent from the free throw line. Baylor is 8-1 in neutral site games, 3-5 against teams ranked in the top 25, and they have played the 15th ranked schedule in the nation this year. The Big 12 was fairly stacked this season as we can see with two teams in the Elite Eight and Baylor should be well prepared for what they face here.
The Kentucky Wildcats have been the number one team for the bulk of the season and if John Calipari is going to get a National Championship it would be tough for him to have a better team than he has this year. UK has breezed through their first three games of the NCAA Tournament beating Western Kentucky, Iowa State, and Indiana but none of those teams are as athletic as their opposition here. Against Indiana Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Doron Lamb had 21 points, Darius Miller had 19 points, Marquis Teague had 14 points and seven assists, and Terrance Jones had 12 points as the Cats put 102 points on the board. As a team Kentucky shot 48.4 percent from the field, 50 percent from beyond the three point line, and 94.6 percent from the free throw line. For the season the Wildcats are 9-1 in neutral site games, 9-2 against teams ranked in the top 25, and they played the 33rd ranked schedule in the nation. Calipari has had great teams in the past and he is a regular in the Final Four but he isn’t a coach known for closing the deal.
Baylor is 11-5 against the spread in their last 16 neutral site as an underdog, 4-1 against the spread as an underdog between 7.5 and 12.5 points, and 3-10 against the spread following a win. Kentucky is 5-2 against the spread in their last seven NCAA Tournament games, 2-5 against the spread as a neutral site favorite, and 7-2 against the spread following a cover.
This could develop into an up and down the court shoot out and even with the total approaching 150 I like the over here.