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Baylor-Texas Tech: Three Keys, How to Watch and Why I like the Bears on Senior Day

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Baylor looks to win its 13th Big 12 game in 14 tries

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

No. 2 Baylor (20-1, 12-1) takes on No. 18 Texas Tech (17-8, 9-7) at 3:00 today in the Ferrell Center. The game airs on ESPN.

Baylor will celebrate winning the Big 12 shortly before tip, and then with a longer ceremony after the game.

The Bears will also honor four players for senior day: Mark Vital, MaCio Teague, Mark Patterson and Tristan Clark.

I got a little busier than I thought/went to Scruff’s, so we’ll have a quicker preview.

Three Keys:

1) Don’t get too focused on drives- In the inaugural meeting, the Bears tried to drive baseline and force Texas Tech’s no middle defense to rotate too many guys. While that’s a good way to beat Texas Tech’s defense, it’s also a good way to end up trapped with no escape.

2) Contain Mac McClung- He hasn’t been as good down the stretch (5-of-8 most recent games with an offensive rating below 100), but he can go wild. The Bears did okay in Lubbock, as he went 4-of-11 from three.

3) Avoid a knockout punch from Tech- The Bears need to just keep this game manageable, and they’ll have a great chance to pull away. Kansas built too large a lead in Lawrence, so the Bears really had one shot to comeback and failed. If the Bears keep it close, I think they’ll go on a run.

Prediction:

Texas Tech is good enough to win this one. KenPom gives them a 21% chance.

Baylor’s an eight point favorite in Vegas. That line feels about perfect, but Texas Tech and Baylor tend to play close games. If the Bears get hot from three, they’ll win comfortably.

I think Texas Tech makes scoring difficult, and with the Big 12 and Senior Day stuff, the score stays a bit lower. I’ll take Baylor 66-60, and I think Davion Mitchell hits a few big buckets to power the victory.