The 2nd-ranked Baylor Bears are back at home on Tuesday night to take on their Big 12 rival, the No. 14 West Virginia Mountaineers. The Mountaineers are fresh off a heartbreaking defeat to the Texas Longhorns, while the Bears have maintained their unbeaten status all year. This is the Bears' second game against a top-15 opponent and will be a good test of their strength as we near the half-way point in the college basketball season.
Fixture: West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Baylor Bears - NCAA Men's Basketball
Date & Time: Tuesday, January 12th, 2021, 9 PM ET
Venue: Paul J. Meyer Arena at the Ferrell Center, Waco, Texas
West Virginia Mountaineers Preview
The West Virginia Mountaineers were two points away from pulling off a big upset over the No. 4 Texas Longhorns on Saturday, falling to 2-3 in Big 12 conference play.
The Mountaineers controlled most of the game against the Longhorns but allowed them to hang around long enough to stay in striking distance.
The West Virginia Mountaineers should be able to find many positive outcomes from the loss and apply them to Tuesday's match-up with the undefeated Baylor Bears.
If West Virginia's big man Derek Culver can continue his dominance of the paint and lead the Mountaineers' offense, the Baylor Bears could have quite the battle on their hands.
Key Player - Derek Culver
Derek Culver of the West Virginia Mountaineers had a great performance in his teams' heartbreaking loss to the Texas Longhorns.
He reeled in a game-high 16 rebounds, while also tallying 14 points in the Mountaineers' 2-point loss.
Culver has been a force at the forward position all season, averaging a double-double with 13.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.
West Virginia Mountaineers Predicted Lineup
F Derek Culver, F Emmitt Matthews Jr., F Jalen Bridges, G Mile McBride, G Sean McNeil
Baylor Bears Preview
The Baylor Bears maintained their dominant form with another win on Saturday morning, defeating the TCU Horned frogs and improving to 11-0 on the season. They have not had much of a challenger thus far and have essentially blown out every team that has stepped on the other side of the court.
The Bears will have one of their toughest tasks of the season on Tuesday as they host the 14th-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers.
If the Baylor Bears can uphold the defensive end and score with efficiency, they should have no problem handling West Virginia and extending their win streak to 12 games.
Key Player - Jared Butler
The Baylor Bears' star of the court has been Jared Butler this season.
Butler was back to his typical brilliance on Saturday morning against the TCU Horned Frogs, scoring a game-high 28 points on 64.7% shooting.
With this 28-point performance, he eclipsed the 1,000-point mark in his tremendous career with the Baylor Bears.
Jared Butler, now in his junior year, will be eligible for the NBA draft after this season and would become a heavily sought-after prospect. For now, he will need to keep his focus on the West Virginia Mountaineers and lead his team to victory on Tuesday night.
Baylor Bears Predicted Lineup
G Jared Butler, G MaCio Teague, F Flo Thamba, G Davion Mitchell, F Mark Vital
West Virginia vs. Baylor Prediction
The Baylor Bears are simply stronger and faster than the West Virginia Mountaineers. While this game may stay close for longer than Baylor would hope, I predict a controlling performance from the Bears on their way to a 12th victory.
The Bears would improve to 5-0 in Big 12 play with a win, further separating themselves from the rest of the conference.
Where to watch West Virginia vs. Baylor
The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2.Published 10 Jan 2021, 05:42 IST