Busting Brackets

Texas vs Baylor: 2022-23 college basketball game preview, TV schedule

Jan 30, 2023; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns guard Marcus Carr (5) shoots over Baylor Bears guard Adam Flagler (10) during the first half at Moody Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 30, 2023; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns guard Marcus Carr (5) shoots over Baylor Bears guard Adam Flagler (10) during the first half at Moody Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports /

Another major Big 12 matchup has Texas traveling to Baylor; can the Bears win the rematch and end their skid or can the Longhorns maintain the top spot in the conference race?

TV schedule: Saturday, February 25, 2:00 pm ET. ESPN

Arena: Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas

Texas (22-6) looks to improve their position, already sitting here tied for the Big 12 conference lead with Kansas. The Longhorns have had a remarkably successful season, especially when losing head coach Chris Beard several weeks back. How will they fare this weekend coming off an impressive win against a tough Iowa State team?

Senior guard Marcus Carr (17.0 ppg, 4.1 apg) has been the leading scorer and player to watch but he’s far alone in that regard. Senior guard Sir’Jabari Rice (12.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg) has been a force off the bench and is the likely Sixth Man of the Year in the Big 12. Rice also led the team with 21 points in their first meeting with Baylor just about a month ago. Senior forward Timmy Allen (10.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg) is the most prominent piece in a tough and talented frontcourt.

At the moment, Texas is 8th in the AP Top 25, 9th in KenPom, and 9th in the NET rankings. They play great offense and high-level defense, with both on display in that win over the Cyclones back on Tuesday night. This team is riding a relative high, winning five of their last seven games, including that home game with Baylor and a road game at Kansas State; but can they pull the same feat in Waco?

Baylor (20-8) is not just looking for revenge but to get back on track after a really tough road trip. The Bears just lost back-to-back games by double-digits at Kansas and Kansas State and could really use a nice win this weekend. Even with those losses, Baylor is still in prime shape for the postseason, having won nine of ten games before this tough stretch.

The Bears boast what is perhaps the nation’s best backcourt, anchored by standout freshman guard Keyonte George (16.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg), who had 23 points in their recent loss to the Wildcats. Senior guard Adam Flagler (15.6 ppg, 4.8 apg) recently had 28 points in a huge road win at TCU while junior guard LJ Cryer (14.9 ppg) scored 26 in their most recent victory against West Virginia. This three-headed monster can go off at any time, and the frontcourt has looked great with the return from injury of Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua.

Sitting 9th in the AP Top 25, the Bears stand at 14th in KenPom and 12th in the NET rankings. They’re 2nd in the nation in offensive efficiency and are a great offensive rebounding team. Baylor rarely has awful shooting nights and their defense usually does enough to support that powerful offense. They scored just 71 points when they played at Texas, and certainly have their eyes on a better performance this time.

What’s different in game two (aside from the venue) is the return of Tchamwa Tchatchoua. This is a player who would’ve spent the entire lineup starting for Scott Drew and the Bears and likely making an incredible impact on both sides of the ball. Don’t worry though, Texas has the personnel to handle his return, but will they have enough

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to upend the Bears on the road?

There’s not really pressure here for a pair of teams that will both be in the Big Dance, but there are factors at play. Baylor really wants to get back in the winning column after those tough performances and Texas wants to stay right next to Kansas in the conference race. When all is said and done, expect Baylor to make enough shots to win this revenge game at home, unlikely to have a repeat of their lame offensive performance from late January.

Prediction: Baylor 80, Texas 75