Baylor Bears at Florida Gators
Baylor Bears Odds
The Baylor Bears, who ascended to No. 1 in the Associated Press poll this week, survived a 61-57 home decision against visiting Oklahoma on Monday before preparing for this tricky road game in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Baylor — which has wins over Villanova, Arizona, Butler, Texas Tech and Kansas — is a tough, swarming, blue-collar outfit that ranks sixth nationally in scoring defense (58.5 points per game) and has allowed only two of its past 11 opponents to score more than 58.
Baylor’s four-guard lineup is led by sophomore Jared Butler (16.1
points, team-best 3.1 assists per game). MaCio Teague puts in 13.6 points per game while starting big man Freddie Gillespie contributes 9.9 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
Florida Gators Odds
The Florida Gators were No. 6 in the AP preseason rankings before running into trouble with a 2-2 start and falling out of the poll while a young squad develops. They are 2-2 in their past four games, losing 84-82 at LSU on Tuesday, but are 7-1 at home. They will be looking for their second consecutive home victory against a top-5 team after beating then-No. 4 Auburn on Jan. 18.
Virginia Tech grad transfer big man Kerry Blackshear has been as advertised (14.8 points, 8.7 rebounds per game). Freshman forward Omar Payne has been surging with 34 points on 16-of-17 shooting in the past three games. Florida is 2-16 all-time vs. No. 1-ranked teams.