The top seed in the 2012 Big 12 Tournament, Kansas, will square off against a dangerous Baylor squad in today’s third round at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The two teams are scheduled to tip off at 7:30pm ET tonight on ESPNU. NCAA Point Spreads have the Jayhawks listed as a -6.5 against the spread favorite; the game total is set 140 points.
Kansas, a winner of nine straight, smashed Baylor 92-74 in Lawrence on January 16th and it proved its dominance over the Bears again on February 8th by dumping Scott Drew’s team 68-54 at the Ferrell Center in Waco.
Despite those two impressive wins, Bill Self’s Jayhawks may be a little shaken after witnessing Baylor’s effort in yesterday’s second round meeting with a tough Kansas State squad. The Bears, who finished third in the Big 12 with a 12-6 conference record, defeated the Wildcats 82-74, but the score did not tell the whole story.
Baylor shot 56.9 percent from the field, won the battle of the boards 31 to 24, and had five players score in double figures. The most encouraging sign for the Bears, though, was the performance of sophomore Perry Jones III. Jones, the talented but underachieving forward, posted a career high 31 points on 11-of-14 shooting and he also added 11 rebounds and two blocks.
Kansas, no doubt, took notice of Jones and the Bears impressive showing, but it made a statement of its own in the mid-afternoon game by pounding Texas A&M 83-66. The Jayhawks shot an eye popping 61.4 percent from the floor and they downed 10-of-14 from beyond the arc in the easy win. Thomas Robinson scored 19 points and grabbed 10 boards opposite A&M, but Elijah Johnson turned in the most notable performance, scoring a career high 26 points after nailing 5-of-7 from long range.
While Baylor’s win over Kansas State was eye opening in some respects, it has done little to show that it can get past Kansas, either this season or in the recent past. The Jayhawks are 9-1 in their last 10 games opposite the Bears and one would suspect they will run their current win streak over Baylor to five games this evening.
Kansas vs Baylor 2012 NCAA Point Spreads: Provided by Bovada.lv
Kansas Jayhawks -6.5 (-110), Over 140 (-110)
Baylor Bears +6.5 (-110), Under 140 (-110)