NCAAB Play of the day: Oklahoma State Cowboys at Baylor Bears

The Baylor Bears got back on track this week covering the spread in OT versus West Virginia on Monday night. Baylor was able to lock up the Big 12 title and do it in a tough situation after a loss and of course a long covid pause to the season.  The Bears are the third most efficient offensive team in college basketball.  They are led by Jerad Butler, Macio Teague and Davion Mitchell, all average double digits, led by Butler’s 16.9 ppg.  Baylor has multiple scorers and thrives from deep.  They have been tested twice this week and will be tested again in this matchup.

The Ok State Cowboys are as hot as any time in the country.  Sweeping a series with their rivals the Oklahoma Sooners.  They are 4-0 ATS in their last four games and are in a prime spot to make a statement leading into the BIG12 tournament.  Everyone knows about Cade Cunningham but it is the rest of the young roster that has been stepping up for Ok State.  Avery Anderson has put up 16, 15 and 11 over their last three upset victories over Oklahoma (2) and Texas Tech.  His ability to penetrate the defense has been a nightmare for opposing defenses that are forced to leave him one on one with the threat of Cade Cunningham looming.  The outside shooting of Bryce Williams has also opened up the interior for the OK State slashers like Kalib Boone.  The Cowboys consistently attack the interior averaging offensive rebounds at a 31% clip.  They are relentless and it usually leads to free throws or tip ins.  The Baylor Bears don’t have a lot of weaknesses but they can be exposed on the defensive glass. In their last two games the Bear were outrebounded by 20 versus Kansas and by 5 versus West Virginia.  

The first matchup between these two teams saw Baylor was able to pull out the victory over Ok State without Cade Cunningham 81-66.  Baylor was leading by just 4 at half before pulling away in the second half.  The second half is where you saw how badly the Cowboys were missing Cade Cunningham who thrives downt he stretch of games.  The Cowboys with Cunningham are facing a Baylor team that has had two hard fought matchups with Kansas and West Virginia and is in for another one Thursday night.  This line seems like it is leaning more on the first matchup rather than the talent on the court.  The Cowboys have been great on the road this year going 6-3-1 ATS, they can match the Bears.

Play of the day: Oklahoma StateCowboys +12

NCAAB Play of the Day: Bradley Braves at Valparaiso Crusaders

Two middle tier Missouri Valley teams face off in what looks to be a defensive minded affair between the Bradley Braves and the Valparaiso Crusaders.

The Bradley Braves enter this contest on a 3-game conference losing streak, falling short of taking down conference favorite Loyola-Chicago in a two game set and dropping a shocking game to Illinois State in a spot where they were clearly looking ahead.  They have had time to process the loss and now get a matchup with a low scoring Valpo team. Bradley ranks 81st in defensive efficiency in the country and  will stifle a Valpo offense that has scored under 69 points in 4 of 5 games.  

On the offensive side of the ball Bradley will have the best player on the court in Senior forward Elijah Childs averagin 14 points and 7 rebounds per game.  He is a do it all player on the offensive end and should be able to carry the load for the Braves.  The emergence of Junior guard Terry Nolan Jr. has been a big part of establishing the Braves offense along with Childs, Nolan has been shooting a respectable 35% from three for the season.  Bradley hopes to have Ja’Shon Henry backin the lineup, his 11 ppg and 60% shooting have been missed over the last three games.  If he is not able to go they should still be able to muster enough offense to grab an early lead and utilize their defense to hold down a Valpo team that has no one outside of Sophmore forward Ben Krikke that has been reliable on offense. 

Bradley’s defense will be too much for the struggling Crusader offense.  Bradley doesn’t allow you to score inside and their perimeter athletes are just better than what Valpo can bring to the table.  If you like a low scoring affair this one will be for you, I would think this game is going to stay under the 130 point mark but I feel more confident in a dominant effort from a Bradley squad looking to reestablish themselves in the Missouri Valley. 

Play of the day: Bradley Braves -5.5