The Baylor Bears (23-5) have one big shot to take a second consecutive Big XII title from the Kansas Jayhawks (23-4). If they win tonight, they’re still in the fight. Lose, and they’re too far back to catch up.
That’s not the standard of a successful season for Baylor. These Bears are March Minded. But taking home another more conference hardware would establish Baylor as the closest thing to a rival Kansas and Bill Self have had these past 18 years, if they’re not there already.
Of course, it’s an uphill battle. Jonathan Tchamwa-Tchatchoua: out. LJ Cryer: out. Adam Flagler and James Akinjo: bruised up and stretched thin. Jeremy Sochan and Kendall Brown continue to rise, but they’re still young.
And Kansas. Well, they’ve been in this position for nearly two decades, right in the top of the conference with the spot light bright. Remy Martin looks to be out, though, and Kansas has survived more than their fair share of close ones this season.
Statistically, it’s a close one. Baylor and Kansas are 4 and 5, respectively, in KenPom. Both are top 10 teams with 23 wins. It doesn’t get much closer by resume.
Perspective from the arena: Christian Braun is absolutely hyped for this game. He had his way back in Lawrence when Kansas blew Baylor out in a game that was never competitive fr a second. Expect him to have sky-high confidence.
On the other hand: Jeremy Sochan has Volt hair and Brown was draining wing threes in warmups. Could this be the national breakout for them both?
Baylor may need it to be.