I don’t know about you, but I’m still riding Saturday night’s high. It almost feels impossible that there could be another game so soon.
Yet here go the Baylor Bears (24-5, 12-4) on the road against the Texas Longhorns (21-8, 10-6). In the preseason, Texas and Baylor were picked by the coaches to finish second and third in the Big XII, respectively. Texas had two first place votes, Baylor none.
Now the Bears are fighting for the chance to win the Big XII for the second straight season, just a half game back of Kansas, who has three games remaining to play between now and Saturday. Texas, well, they’re not in the hunt anymore. They’re not mathematically eliminated, sure, but it would take some catastrophic losing by three teams above them in the standings.
Texas is ranked 14th in KenPom’s rankings, primarily for their defense, which ranks 17th. They have a fairly efficient 27th ranked offense, but don’t expect things to be pretty. Texas relies on their size to bludgeon teams on the board, draw fouls, and force live ball turnovers that allow them to score in transition.
If Baylor can somehow summon the energy again to play with force on both ends, Texas won’t get the chance to do what they want. It will come down to energy and the foul situation. If Flo Thamba gets into foul trouble in this game, plus either of Jeremy Sochan or Matthew Mayer, Baylor simply doesn’t have many other options to put on the court. If the refs are calling quick fouls, don’t be surprised to see Zach Loveday in to hack a few horns.
It’s another big game for Baylor. Do they have the energy to do it again?