One might have thought that the Baylor Bears might start to slide a little, when it became apparent that they had been affected in some way by the three-week COVID delay they experienced in February.
But this team that entertained dreams of being in an all-undefeated showdown against Gonzaga in the national title game has gotten a second wind of sorts, and they’ll have a chance to advance to the Final Four if they can defeat the Arkansas Razorbacks in the finals of the South regional.
It takes place on Monday night at 9:57 PM ET at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. If you are signed up with BetOnline, you are going to be able to see an awful lot of props on this game, in addition to the “Live Betting” option, in which you can avail yourself of the best software in the world with which to make real-time wagers while the game is in progress.
NCAA Tournament – Elite Eight @ Indianapolis
BAYLOR BEARS vs.ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS, 9:57 PM ET (CBS)
NCAA Tournament Odds: Baylor -7.5 / Total 148.5
Arkansas made a decision the other day as to which of Oral Roberts’ two big guns they wanted to take out of the game. That was a strategy that had worked in a previous meeting, when they held Max Abmas to eleven points and won by eleven. This time around it was Kevin Obanor, who had been running wild in the first two rounds of the tournament by tallied only a dozen points.
Still, the Hogs needed some lucky breaks down the stretch and a Davonte Davis jump shot with a few seconds left, then had to survive Abmas’ last-second attempt, in order to come out with a 72-70 victory.
Davis was a hero, as was Jalen Tate (22 points). And Justin Smith had 49 points in the first two games. Then there is Moses Moody, a highly-touted freshman who is going into the NBA Draft (in all likelihood) and should be a lottery pick.
So there’s talent.
Baylor appeared to have a ton of momentum until the Bears had to sideline themselves because of a COVID scare in February, When they came back, they were flat, with life-and-death against lowly Iowa State, then a loss to Kansas. After three wins over West Virgina, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, they lost to OSU in the Big 12 tourney.
What they have done in the Big Dance has been kind of interesting. In case you’re not aware, Baylor is third best in the country at creating turnovers on the part of the opposition. They forced 24 in the opener against Hartford, then 14 by Wisconsin and 16 from Villanova. What’s notable about those last two is that Wisconsin and Villanova are #1 and #4, respectively, in Offensive Turnover Percentage. So the Bears can shake that ball loose.
Whether they can hit the long ball is another question. You know, Baylor is currently #2 in the country in three-point accuracy, hitting 40.8%. But they’ve been a different proposition than that lately, making just 32% of their attempts in this tournament.
That may hurt them if they get to the next stage, but Arkansas really doesn’t have the three-point shot in its arsenal. In fact, they’ve made just 16 of 68 (23.6%) over the last four games.
Baylor will push the pace; they’re sixth in the nation in scoring. Arkansas (17th in Adjusted Tempo among 357 D-I schools) will accommodate them. Unless they go completely cold from downtown, we see Baylor being the team that gets the extra points from triples, and extra possessions with turnovers. In most departments, whatever Arkansas can do, Baylor can do better.
We’re going to lay the points.
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