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Baylor-Oklahoma: Three Keys and Prediction

NCAA Basketball: Alabama at Baylor Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor 13-6 (4-2) takes on Oklahoma 15-5 (3-4) at 8:00 on Monday in Norman. The game airs on ESPNU.

Oklahoma ranks 20th on KenPom. They’ve been dominant in a few games. The Sooners knocked Wichita State off by 32 and just beat Vanderbilt by 31.

Three Keys:

1) 3-point makes- Oklahoma is 7th in 2-point defense. The Sooners switch dribble hand-offs and many off-ball actions. Scoring inside won’t be easy.

2) Watching out for the quick three- Oklahoma is 183rd in 3-point percentage, and the Sooners don’t have anyone shooting even 37% from three. But too many teams like to stunt hard or fear Brady Manek in the corner (he’s only at 33% this season). Don’t abandon Aaron Calixte to help early:

3) Quick ball movement- Mark Vital has been a revelation firing passes. Oklahoma’s defense moves well, and they rarely foul. The No. 14 KenPom defense is tough to beat, but Baylor beat an even better defense by being decisive:


After Kansas knocked off Baylor—in the first game without Tristan Clark—this seemed like a sure loss. Oklahoma is a good team, and it’s tough to win on the road in the Big 12.

Baylor continues to be an interesting matchup for everyone. Not many teams roll out two point guards and three guards all game. During the four game winning streak, someone new seemed to step up every game. The Bears are tough to scout.

Oklahoma could switch actions well and limit dribble penetration. They could also get the ball inside to Jamuni McNeace and dominate against Baylor’s smaller lineups.

The Bears strike me as a better team though. The Sooners have good players, but outside of Christian James, they don’t have anyone that terrifies me. Mario Kegler could be a force against Oklahoma, and the guards are different than the rest of the league. I’ll take Baylor 73-69.