Based on last night’s performances by the Texas Longhorns and Baylor Bears, both should feel comfortable with their chances to make the Big 12 Championship Saturday night. That said, if either of these teams have the right to be confident in tonight’s third match-up of the season, it’s Rick Barnes’ Longhorns.
In the previous two meetings between the two, Texas outlasted the Bears 74-60 in Waco and 74-69 in Austin, both of which weren’t as close as the score indicated. Now playing with their sights on the Big 12 Championship, Texas has the upper hand considering Cameron Ridley and Isaiah Taylor both have experience carving the Bears’ defense up.
For Baylor, Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson provide the size advantage they need against most teams, but not against Texas. Barnes has structured the biggest team in the Big 12 with 7-footers Cameron Ridley and Prince Ibeh, while Jonathan Holmes and Connor Lammert fill the post nicely. These four are the reason Texas finds themselves fourth in the nation in rebounding with 41.8 per game.
Tonight, Baylor will have more of the same struggles they have had in the previous two meetings. Ridley and Holmes will have their way with the Baylor frontcourt, and Taylor will bounce back after a rough patch against West Virginia.
This combination of guards who are too quick and big men who are too big is the formula for Texas to sweep Baylor this season. Overall, Texas looks like the better team and has much reason to be confident that they will make a Big 12 Championship appearance tomorrow night.