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Baylor-Oklahoma State: Preview and Prediction

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Sic ‘Em!

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma State at Baylor Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor takes on Oklahoma State at 11:00 am on Saturday in Stillwater. The game airs on ESPN2.

Oklahoma State has dropped 7-of-9 games. They peaked at No. 24 on KenPom before that streak, and now they’re down to 62.

With less time than I hoped to have, we’ll go with the three key method, then offer a prediction.

Three Keys:

1) 3-point defense: Oklahoma State has been substantially worse than expected from three. They’re 319th in 3-point percentage. Cam McGriff is down to 23% from deep. Lindy Waters is at 33% from beyond the arc. He hit 45% of his triples last year. As bad as they’ve been, they might be due for major regression.

Oklahoma State isn’t winning this game unless they have a wild day from three. The Bears should be quick to closeout on the perimeter.

2) Don’t fall in love with tough twos- Baylor gets blocked quite a bit—ranking 348th in offensive block rate. The Cowboys are top 50 in block percentage and top 100 in 2-point defense. The Bears can probably hunt for better shots against these dudes.

3) Pull away when given the chance- Texas Tech started crushing Oklahoma State in the second half, and since then, the Cowboys have lost every Big 12 game by double digits. Two of those losses are to TCU and Texas, both squads significantly worse than Baylor.

Prediction:

Oklahoma State is due for a ridiculously good shooting day, so hopefully that doesn’t happen.

Baylor is a good deal better than Oklahoma State. The Cowboys should be better than they’ve been, but Baylor’s still better than Oklahoma State at their best. The Cowboys don’t go utterly insane, and Baylor keeps Oklahoma State’s streak of double digit Big 12 losses alive. I’ll take Baylor 68-52.