NCAA Men’s Basketball: Baylor Bears vs Oklahoma Sooners – Possible Lineups and Predictions

January 7, 2021 1:30 am

NCAA Men’s basketball returns to action as the #2 ranked Baylor Bears take on the Oklahoma Sooners. The unbeaten Bears have held on to their #2 ranking right from preseason and refuse to let it slip. The Sooners, on the other hand, are trying to break into the AP Poll for the first time since the 2018-19 season.

The Bears are currently 9-0 and have been cruising to wins. But except for Illinois, they haven’t played a single ranked opponent. Their last win came against Iowa State, which ended 76-65.

The Sooners aren’t ranked but are a better side than the teams they have played recently. They are ranked as the 19th best offense in the country by KenPom. The Sooners also have momentum on their side, after beating the WVU Mountaineers in their last game.

NCAA Men’s Basketball: Will the Bears hunt down the Sooners?

Baylor has been one of the most balanced teams when it comes to performing on both ends. They rank 3rd in offense and 5th in defense in the country. No other team ranks Top-5 in both of them.

Dec 21, 2020; Waco, Texas, USA; Baylor Bears head coach Scott Drew greets his players on the court after Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions called a timeout during the first half at Ferrell Center. Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

They have also been consistent with their lineups. Their starters have been injury-free, and there has been no need to change the lineup because of their consistent wins.

So they will continue to start with Jared Butler, MaCio Teague, and Davion Mitchell as their guards, while Mark Vital and Flo Thamba play as the forwards.

Oklahoma has had a few rotational changes, but 3 of their starters have remained consistent. They will start with Austin Reaves, Alondes Williams, and De’Vion Harmon as the guards while Brady Manek and Victor Iwuakor play as the forwards.

Dec 9, 2020; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Oklahoma Sooners guard De’Vion Harmon (11) looks at the scoreboard during the second half against the Xavier Musketeers at Cintas Center. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest mismatch heading into this game is the three-point shooting. The Bears are the best team in the country when it comes to shooting threes, and the Sooners are one of the worst at defending them.

So if the Sooners are unable to step up, they are in for a three-point barrage that will sway the game away from them.

The Bears should be able to come away with a win and extend their run to 10-0. The Sooners just fall short but should be able to put up a tough fight.

Tags: Jared Butler
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