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Oklahoma State

College Basketball Pick


It was only a week ago that Baylor was looking like one of the best teams in the country and the most likely of teams to take down Kansas in the Big 12. However, the Bears couldn't get a win in Lawrence and then fell at home against Kansas State on Tuesday. And just like that, Baylor lost more games in a matter of four days than it had in the previous three months. Now on the road against an underrated Oklahoma State team, Baylor could be in line for three-straight losses.

These teams met at the beginning of January and while Baylor won 61-57, it was close the entire way with the Cowboys leading for a decent portion of it. The most impressive thing with that game is that Baylor was held to 61 points on its home court. And even though OK State was just 19-of-55 from the field, it still kept close in a road game. Playing in Stillwater for this one, the Pokes are in a good position to beat a former No. 1 team.

Oklahoma State lost its first six games of Big 12 play with home losses to West Virginia, Iowa State and Kansas State, but the Cowboys have come around and won five straight, namely Saturday's huge upset at West Virginia. The main reason OK State had a chance in that first game is because it surprisingly won the rebound battle 35-30 with a ridiculous 19 offensive boards against one of the best rebounding teams in the conference. The Cowboys don't have a ton of size, but have the length to deal with guys like Johnathan Motley, Nuni Omot and Jo Lual-Acuil down low. However, it can't be overlooked that Omot didn't play in that first game and he's been an x-factor in recent games.

Maybe the most interesting part in that last meeting is that Motley only attempted six shots from the field, with two of those being three pointers. OK State kept one of the best players in the country in check and if they can do that again, that should help in having a chance to win this game. Funny enough, OK State's best player also struggled in that first meeting as Jawun Evans battled foul trouble en route to 2-of-12 shooting, eight points and four fouls. For a guy that scores more than 18 points per game, that's a relevant stat.

For Baylor to win on the road, it will need the bigs to dominate, which mainly means Motley. Manu Lecomte, Al Freeman and Ishmail Wainwright are all good players, but their most important role on the perimeter will be limiting Evans, shooter Phil Forte and second-leading scorer Jeffrey Carroll in this game. The Bears may have the better record, but come into this game struggling and they look far from dominant in road games this season. The Cowboys are still fighting for their NCAA tournament lives and already know they can compete against this team. The home crowd will be going crazy and Oklahoma State has what's needed to give Baylor yet another loss.

Our Pick - Baylor by 2

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