Getting to know: Baylor basketball
Even though a league title is no longer attainable, Kansas would like to head into the postseason with some momentum.
The Jayhawks have another streak on the line, as well. Beginning in 1983-84 under then-head coach Larry Brown, KU has won 35 consecutive regular-season home finales. Kansas is also vying to post its 20th undefeated season in Allen Fieldhouse and its first since going 16-0 in the venue in 2015-16.
"I think that is one thing we can look at for motivation, to be able to run the table at home,” KU coach Bill Self said. “Baylor has been nipping at us pretty hard the last several games we've played them at home. They've always come ready to play. Scott (Drew) has done a great job this year.”
Tipoff is slated for 1 p.m.
Series history: KU leads the series with Baylor, 31-5, including a 16-0 mark in games played in Lawrence and 15-0 in Allen Fieldhouse. Four of the last five meetings in Lawrence have been decided by 10 points or less.
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BREAKING DOWN BAYLOR
No. 10 — G Makai Mason | 6-1, 185, r-sr.
Mason has been limited in the last eight games with a toe injury, but is leading the team in scoring with 14.8 points per game this season.
In Big 12 play, Mason ranks sixth in the league with 15.1 points per game and ninth with 3.3 assists per game. Mason has started 25 games after missing the majority of the previous two-plus seasons due to injury.
However, Mason has missed two of the last nine games after a toe injury. Baylor is 4-3 in games he’s played since the injury and 0-2 without him.
No. 4 — F Mario Kegler | 6-7, 230, r-so.
This season, Kegler is second on the team in scoring with an average of 10.4 points per game.
Kegler has led the Bears in scoring in three of the last four games, averaging 15.5 points per contest and 7.0 rebounds per game in that stretch. Kegler has made a 3-pointer in seven of his last nine games and is shooting 42 percent (13-31) from 3-point range in that stretch.
The 3-point improvement for Kegler has been noticeable, as he is shooting 40 percent over the last 12 game. He posted a 14 percent from long range in the previous 12 contests.
No. 12 — G Jared Butler | 6-3, 185, fr.
Butler joined the starting lineup when Clark went out and Butler is averaging 12.3 points per outing to go along with 3.6 assists per game in 16 starts.
Since he became a starter, Butler is shooting 44 percent from long range on 96 attempts. He has also made a triple in all 16 starts. For the season, Butler is averaging 9.6 points per game in his freshman campaign with the Bears.
In addition, Butler leads the team with a 1.41 assist-to-turnover ratio with 83 assists compared to 59 turnovers.
No. 3 — G King McClure | 6-3, 215, sr.
McClure, Baylor’s lone player with three-plus years in the program, missed five games with knee soreness before returning against Texas on Feb. 27.
Against the Longhorns, McClure played only seven minutes in the first half. He then scored seven points in 19 minutes off the bench against Kansas State last weekend. McClure has played in 125 games for the Bears, including 57 career starts.
ONE THING BAYLOR DOES WELL
Baylor is typically a good rebounding team and this year is no different. The Bears are boasting a 38.2 offensive rebound rate, which is the second-best clip in the nation.
ONE AREA BAYLOR STRUGGLES
According to KenPom.com, opposing teams are posting a 12.0 percent bock rate on Baylor this season. That mark ranks 334th in all of college basketball.
MEET THE COACH
The Bears are coached by Scott Drew who is 315-206 in his 16th season at Baylor and 335-217 in his 17th season overall.
My prediction: Kansas 76, Baylor 68