Wednesday night features a David versus Goliath matchup in the Big 12 as the Kansas State Wildcats (5-11) take on the No. 2 Baylor Bears (14-0). Baylor hosts this one from the Ferrell Center, with tipoff scheduled for 9 pm ET.
To say it has been a rough season for the Kansas State Wildcats is an understatement. They are just 1-7 in the Big 12 and come into this one on a six-game losing streak.
They have lost the last four games by 15 points or more, with the last two being by over 20 points. The Wildcats will shoot to pull off an absolute stunner as they travel to Baylor.
Not only is Baylor undefeated, but they haven’t been overly challenged to this point. Despite having played four current Top 25 teams thus far this season, they have yet to win by less than eight points. You can’t overlook any opponent, but they may not be challenged again until next week when they face No. 5 Texas.
Baylor is the overwhelming favorite playing at home. They are currently -30,000 to win while the Wildcats’ moneyline is +3000. The spread features Kansas State +25.5 while the over/under for total points is 136.5.
By The Numbers
Offensively, Baylor is one of the best teams in the nation. They currently rank 4th in scoring, averaging 86.1 points per game. Kansas State falls to 317th overall, averaging 63.1 points per game (54.7 over their last three games).
The scary thing about Baylor is they take care of business on both ends of the court. They currently rank 18th in scoring defense, allowing opponents just 62 points per game. Kansas State ranks 189th allowing 71.5 points per game.
Kansas State Looking To Give Baylor A Run
The nice thing about being given zero chance to win is that it allows players to play a little more carefree. Kansas State’s head coach, Bruce Weber, hopes to see some resiliency in his players Wednesday to try to give Baylor a game.
Leading the way for the Wildcats this season is senior guard Mike McGuirl. On the season, he is averaging 11.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.5 assists.
The other two double-digit scorers are Nijel Pack (10.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists) and DaJuan Gordon (10.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, two assists).
Luckily for the Wildcats, Pack is expected to play in this one. He has been out with COVID-19 and has not played since January 5th, when he put up 17 against Texas Tech. Still, he will likely be on a minutes restriction, so he won’t be a gamechanger.
Baylor Looks To Remain Perfect
Baylor has just been flat out dominant this season, and if it weren’t for Gonzaga, they would easily be the top team in the nation. The Bears have four players averaging double digits, led by junior guard Jared Butler.
Butler is averaging 17.1 points on 50.3% shooting on the season, including 49.4% from behind the arc. He is also chipping in 3.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 2.3 steals per game.
The other significant scorers include MaCio Teague (14.8 points, 3.9 rebounds), Davion Mitchell (11.5 points, 5.9 assists), and Adam Flagler (10.1 points).
More impressive is their depth, as they still have four additional players averaging five points or more. Of the four, Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua is probably the most significant as he is averaging 8.4 points and 6.6 rebounds in 21.6 minutes per game.
Baylor Wins, But Can They Cover Massive Spread?
There is very little doubt that Baylor will not only win but will win quite handily. The real question is whether Baylor can cover the massive 25.5-point spread.
Frankly, the answer to this is yes. Baylor is that good, while Kansas State has played that poorly. The only concern is whether Scott Drew will keep his regulars in long enough to hit the spread or if Kansas State can cover in garbage time.
With Kansas State being 4-11 against the spread thus far and Baylor being 11-3, I am willing to take the gamble. For my money, I am taking Baylor despite laying the 25.5 points.