The Kansas Jayhawks’ streak of 14 straight Big 12 regular season titles came to an end earlier this week in a loss to the Oklahoma Sooners. Now Kansas has their sights set on hanging on to the third seed in the Big 12 Conference Tournament with a win over Baylor in the season finale. The Jayhawks hung on for a five-point victory over Baylor earlier this season.
Kansas has really struggled in recent weeks, and come into this game with an 11-6 record in Big 12 games. The Jayhawks are still 22-8 overall and will be a top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament. Baylor has lost two straight games to fall to 10-7 in conference play. The Bears need a win in this game to clinch a top-four seed in the Big 12 Tournament. Kansas is -9.0 over Baylor on Saturday.
Lawson Doing it All For Kansas
The Kansas Jayhawks season might be going even worse if it weren’t for forward Dedric Lawson. Lawson is in his first season in Lawrence, Kansas, but has quickly become the leader of the Jayhawks team. The junior is leading the team with 19.0 points and 10.5 rebounds per game this season and has been doing all he can to lead his team. If Lawson is given some space to operate against Baylor, he will no doubt have a monster game.
The problem for Kansas has been that they haven’t given Lawson much help at all. Head coach Bill Self has been forced to play a ton of freshman with the losses of Udoka Azubuike and Lagerald Vick this season. Point guard Devon Dotson has chipped in with 11.6 points and 3.6 assists per game, but the other freshmen have been inconsistent. Kansas is outscoring opponents by just over five points per game this season, and the inconsistent play of freshmen is the biggest reason.
Baylor Struggling to Score
At least Kansas has the ability to put up a big number on offense, while the Baylor Bears have struggled to score all season long. Baylor comes into this game averaging just 71.9 points per game, but are averaging just 62 in their last two losses. The Bears attempt a ton of three-point shots this season but are making just over 34 percent of these attempts. Baylor needs to shoot well against Kansas to pull off the upset and snap their losing streak.
Forward Tristan Clark and guard Makai Mason are both averaging 14.6 points to lead the Baylor offense. Baylor doesn’t have a ton of scoring depth, but Clark and Mason have the ability to lead this team to victory. The lack of a true center could also play a huge role in this game as Baylor will struggle to contain Dedric Lawson.
Kansas Still Tough To Beat at Home
Despite everything that has gone wrong for the Jayhawks this season, they are still incredibly tough to beat at home. Baylor hasn’t looked very good in their last two games, and playing at Allen Fieldhouse won’t make things any easier. Look for the Jayhawks to win this game and take some momentum into the conference tournament. Bet the Kansas Jayhawks -9.0 over the Baylor Bears.