Baylor desperately needs a win. Despite colossal expectations entering the season, Scott Drew's Bears have disappointed mightily. Their best win is difficult to point out, as they've lost to their four best opponents. Most recently the Bears fell victim to Fred Hoiberg and Iowa State (who played Kansas closer than Bill Self would care for). Long story short: the Bears are looking at a resume that falls short of the NCAA unless they can get some marquee wins. Kansas on the other hand is off to a streaking 17-0 start with their last three wins coming at Michigan (overtime), at Iowa State (by five), and home against Nebraska (by three). Needless to say they've been flirting with fire by not closing teams out down the stretch.
Kansas' frontcourt remains the story of the season. The Morris twins (and Thomas Robinson to a lesser extent) have been dominant offensively this season. Yes, they've shown a soft side on defense, but it's impossible to overlook the offensive potency of these players: in the last two road games the Morris twins scored 35 of 67 points against Michigan (grabbing over half the team's boards as well) and 50 of 84 points at Iowa State (grabbing over half the team's boards). Unfortunately, the Jayhawk backcourt has been far less potent: Josh Selby especially has cooled off (and looks frighteningly one-dimensional).
On the Baylor side, they rely far too much on LaceDarius Dunn to put up huge points. Perry Jones III and Quincy Acy show flashes of brilliance, and both will need to have good games on both sides of the ball to help Baylor. The X-factor this game will be A.J. Walton. If Walton can get the Bears into some offensive rhythm--also known as kicking the ball inside effectively and getting LaceDarius Dunn good looks--the Bears have a great shot. Kansas is starting to look like they're sleepwalking (that's about the only way to describe the Nebraska performance) until the second half. A team can only pull off so many second half comebacks, especially on the road. That said, the Bears look like a shadow of their former selves, so I'm going to stick with the Jayhawks in a close one.