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Baylor-Ole Miss Preview and Prediction

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Baylor takes on Ole Miss in the Big 12-SEC Challenge

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Baylor Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor (19-1) travels to Oxford to take on Ole Miss (12-8) at 5:00 today. The game airs on ESPN2.

Baylor is the overwhelming favorite in this contest. Ole Miss beat a decent Tennessee squad, and after that, Ole Miss does not have much in the way of quality wins. With a win in this one, Baylor is probably going to be ranked #2 on Monday.

Ole Miss is a terrible shooting team and prone to turnovers. The Rebels rank 297th in turnover percentage and 210th in effective field goal percentage on KenPom. Baylor has the 4th best KenPom defense and the 8th best effective field goal defense. As a result, Ole Miss should really have a hard time getting much going offensively.

On offense, Baylor should be able to control the offensive glass. The Bear’s offense has survived being turnover prone and missing shots by grabbing offensive boards. The Bears rank 11th in offensive rebounding on KenPom, while the Rebels are just 252nd in defensive rebounding percentage. This should happen a lot:

Ole Miss also doesn’t have a giant frontcourt. Edrice Adebayo of Kentucky dropped 25 on Ole Miss, and Justin Patton went 5 of 7. Both of those guys are some of the best big men in the country, but Johnathan Motley may be the best big man in the country. Good luck to the Rebels trying to stop this man:

Ole Miss has a terrible 3-point defense as well. But Baylor’s 3-point offense has been anemic. Ole Miss ranks just 279th in 3-point defense on KenPom, and they are giving up the 44th highest percentage of shots from deep. Hopefully Baylor can start hitting 3-point shots before a big matchup with Kansas:

Prediction

Ole Miss is not terrible, but Baylor is substantially better than the Rebels. Baylor has huge advantages and more talent overall. Unless Ole Miss has their best shooting night of the decade, Baylor should be able to win this one. I’ll take Baylor 72-58.