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Some story lines — from Baylor perspective — for tonight’s Kentucky game

STORY LINES
• Friday’s game is part of the inaugural Big 12-SEC Challenge, and it’s also the third straight year Baylor and Kentucky have played. BU won 64-55 in Lexington last season, and UK won in Atlanta in the 2012 Elite Eight.
• Baylor went 3-1 in the Big 12-Pac-10 Hardwood Series (2007-10). The Big 12 finished 28-20 in those games.
• 32 NBA scouts requested credentials for the Baylor-Kentucky game. The teams have combined for 12 NBA Draft picks in the last two years, with Kentucky leading the nation with eight and Baylor tied for third with four.
• Baylor has won multiple games against AP Top 25 teams in each of the last six seasons entering 2013-14.
• 14 of Baylor’s 31 all-time wins versus AP Top 25 teams have come in the last seven seasons. BU is 14-32 against AP ranked teams since 2007-08 after going 17-122 vs. ranked opponents in its first 101 seasons.
• Baylor is 38-17 in away games against non-Big 12 teams during the Drew era, including 16-4 since 2011-12.
• Baylor is 3-0 this season in games decided by 5 points or less — the Bears were 2-8 in those games last year.
• Baylor is 31-5 in December games since 2007-08, including wins against ranked teams in each of the last two seasons (won vs. No. 15 Mississippi State in Dallas in 2011, won at No. 8 Kentucky in 2012).
• Baylor is ranked No. 20 in the AP poll, up five spots from the Bears’ preseason No. 25 ranking.
• Baylor is one of four schools nationally ranked by the AP in football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball. The Bears (No. 9 FB, No. 20 MBB, No. 9 WBB) are joined by Oklahoma State, Duke and Louisville.
• Baylor is looking to start the season 8-1 through its first nine games for the sixth time in the last seven years.
• Nine Baylor players average 15+ minutes per game, and Baylor’s bench is averaging 32.9 points per game.
• Friday is the ninth all-time series meeting between Baylor and Kentucky. The Bears’ 64-55 win in Lexington last season was their first-ever win vs. UK, and it snapped Kentucky’s 55-game home winning streak.
• Baylor has won 27 of its last 28 games when leading at the half, and BU is 48-2 in those games since 2011-12.
• Baylor’s game vs. Kentucky will air on ESPN as one of 18 games BU will play on ESPN networks this season.
• Baylor has the nation’s best postseason winning percentage over the last five years (15-3; .833).

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6 comments

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  1. Larry Pup

    Baylor will be a challenge for this young UK team. Baylor is a good program, and UK will have to get after them from the opening tip.

  2. arabtexan

    Is there any information on whether or not this game will be played tonight due to the severe ice storm in Dallas?

  3. arabtexan

    Is there any indication whether or not the game is going to be cancelled tonight due to the ice storm in the D/FW area?

  4. Jimcats

    Yeah, I’m very concerned about Baylor. Why? We lost to the only good team we’ve played this year and MSU didn’t look good in that win either. The Cats have had to get serious in order to beat some light-weights that they should have breezed past all the way. No more than a couple of Cats have played really well in the same game so far–we’ve yet to see a game in which the whole team (or several players) comes on strong for two halves. A tough venue. Diversion of weather problems, presidential meeting, etc.

    For the Ladies, last year’s sound drubbing may still have their ears ringing, but I have more confidence that they will win–in spite of the various distractions of the big city, big stage and big lights.

  5. TheProfessor

    Let’s see if we can get away from the polls a little. Baylor enters tonight with a #36 Pomeroy rating, UK is #6. At number 36, Baylor is more akin to Minnesota (#35) and Tennessee (#34) than Florida (#13) or Michigan State (#12).

    Yes, Baylor is 7-1, but two of these 7 wins come at the hands of Chaminade and Hardin Simmons, non-D1 programs, and the margins in those games are wide enough to distort the overall statistical profile for the real Baylor team. Last year, Baylor did not play any of these games.

    Baylor plays a 9 man rotation in its first 8 games this season. Their most efficient player is Gathers, who comes off the bench to average about 10 ppg. Their next two most efficient players are a pair of JUCO transfers. Mr. Austin, the loud mouth featured in another thread, has a negative individual efficiency through 8 games this season. He is not the only regular player that has a negative individual efficiency. Wainwright is very low, at -0.375 points per possession.

    In contrast, UK’s top 9 contributors all have individual efficiencies in the black, and UK has 6 players with higher efficiency than their 3rd highest player, and no player as low as Mr. Austin.

    Pomeroy has this as a 3 point game (semi-home venue main reason) and Vegas has it 3 1/2 points, both for UK. I show it as a 7 point game (I treated this as a Neutral Venue). If this is a semi-home venue for Baylor, then my numbers would shift to a 4 point UK margin. The point is that Baylor is a legitimate NCAA At Large Bid team, probably a 8 to 10 seed, and UK is a legitimate NCAA #1 or #2 seed. This will be equivalent to a sweet 16 match up, not an elite 8 or final four game.

    1. The Winner

      I love it when flawed theory is exposed in practice. Sorry, Professor, but Baylor/Kentucky WAS equivalent to an Elite 8 or Final 4 game. Now I legitimately wonder if Kentucky will make it back to Arlington this season next April.
      Oh, and the “loud mouth” Austin scored 13 pts and 5 blocks. I agree that he has been an underperformer in the past, but he definitely came to play last night. Kentucky could not solve our big men.
      That makes Baylor 2, Kentucky 0 over the last two years. Sic ‘em, Bears!
      Congrats on your women’s team. That 133-130 4OT game was a classic for the ages. We almost made it a sweep.

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