Kansas vs. Baylor Pick NCAA Basketball – Feb 23rd

I don’t usually quibble too much with polls and pollsters. In truth, it matters pretty little given how the NCAA committee seems to ignore the rankings in determining seeding and, ultimately, it will get decided on the court eventually. But I have to wonder HOW Oklahoma remained third in the latest edition. If you are keeping score at home, the Sooners have lost a game EVERY WEEK since peaking at number one, and YES, there has been a ton of carnage around them, but how do they never fall? The loss at Kansas State is certainly as demerit-meriting as Iowa’s loss at Penn State or Maryland’s disaster at Minnesota. And perhaps the voters don’t think much of the Big East (I personally think it is an excellent league with less bottom-garbage than most) but Xavier winning a pair over Providence and at Georgetown would have pushed my vote to edge them past the Sooners.

Alas, the muskies will get their chance tomorrow night in one of the most intriguing matchups of the season as they get the return visit from #1 Villanova to try and stake their claim to a #1 seed.

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Today’s Free Picks:

Kansas Jayhawks -2 at Baylor Bears

Whatever problems Kansas had this season appear to be well behind them at this point. They punctuated their sweep over Oklahoma, following up their win in Norman with a win at rival Kansas State and now have firm control – a two game lead – in the Big Twelve. Reports of the Jayhawks demise were greatly exaggerated, and it looks like Bill Self and company will make it an even dozen straight, and this time outright with room to spare.

Assuming they win tonight in Baylor. And I think they will.

Kansas has won seven straight, including home wins over Kentucky and West Virginia and roadies at Oklahoma and are simply rolling right now. This was my preseason #1 team and it looks like some patience is finally being rewarded. With their overall resume, they are in good shape to land the #1 overall seed come March.

Baylor is a solid team, and I expect tonight to be a tough game. They are just 3-3 in their last six and just 6-4 in their last ten, but they have some nice home wins this season. They’ve already tackled Iowa State and Vanderbilt, but the remaining home wins are pretty weak; Oklahoma State, TCU, Kansas State and Georgia. They have lost at home to Texas Tech and Texas by a combined 26 points. Their last meeting with the Jayhawks in Lawrence was a 102-74 humiliation.

Kansas is just the better team. Perhaps the change in venue makes 30 points difference, but there is nothing in Baylor’s recent play to suggest they are ready to take down what looks like the best team in the country right now.

I’ll take KU to complete the season sweep over the Bears tonight on the road.

Free Pick: Kansas Jayhawks -2