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No 11 Baylor Bears finish the regular season with trip to take on the Texas Longhorns

The 24-6 Baylor Bears look to win their 12th Big 12 game and secure the 3-seed in the conference tournament with a trip down to Austin to take on the struggling Texas Longhorns.

The 24-6 Baylor Bears hit the road this weekend to take on the 10-20 Texas Longhorns. At stake for the Bears is seeding in the Big 12 conference with 3rd or 4th place on the line in the standings.  A win would give the Bears the 3rd seed, tying its best finish in Big 12 play. It would also give them Bears some momentum going into the conference tournament, with 3 wins in their last four games.  

As for the Longhorns, what is at stake really stops at pride.  With a victory, they could tie Oklahoma for the worst record in the Big 12 following a disastorous season.  They are just 4-13 in conference play and have lost their last 6 games. They have wrapped up their first season since the early 1900's without a single road victory of any kind.  

Second year head coach Shaka Smart's offense has struggled to score, and has not been able to take advantage of a 5-star recruit in Jarrett Allen, who could also be a lottery pick for the NBA draft later this summer. A Top-5 recruiting class last year, resulting in Allen and fellow 5-star recruit Andrew Jones, has not resulted in any more wins.   

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STORY LINES

• No. 11 Baylor looks for its 25th win of the season at Texas at 3 p.m. CT Saturday on ESPN.

• BU needs one win to reach the 25-win mark for the 5th time in program history (1946, 2010, 2012, 2014).

• A win would tie BU’s most regular season wins in program history (25-6 in 2010), tie its most Big 12 wins in program history (12-6 in 2012) and potentially tie its best Big 12 finish (t-2nd in 2010).

• With a win, BU would be the No. 3 seed in the 2017 Big 12 Championship, tying its best seed (2010).

• Saturday is the 250th series meeting – the most-played rivalry in Baylor history dating back to 1905-06.

• The teams have met at least twice per year in every season since 1928.

• BU trails 87-162 in the all-time series, including a 29-88 mark in games played in Austin.

• The Bears are 12-7 vs. Texas since snapping a 24-game series losing streak in 2009.

• Johnathan Motley posted 32 points and 20 rebounds in a 74-64 win over Texas on Jan. 17. The Bears led by 21 points with 6 minutes left before UT closed the gap to 10 with a 17-6 run the rest of the way.

• Motley’s was the first 30-20 game in Big 12 play since Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin in 2009.

• Nuni Omot also had a breakout game with 14 points and 5 rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench.

• Baylor was the No. 3 overall seed (No. 1 in South) in the Feb. 11 CBS Early Bracket Reveal.

• BU has reached the 20-win mark for a school-record 6th straight season and 9th time in the last 10 years.

• Baylor is No. 6 nationally in RPI, trailing only Villanova, Kansas, Florida, Oregon and North Carolina.

• Baylor has faced a second-half deficit and come back to win in 11 games this season.

• BU is 8-2 when trailing at half and averages a +11.0 scoring margin in 2nd halves of those games.

• BU is 46-8 over the last two seasons when it takes the lead at any point in the 2nd half of a game.

• Baylor’s defense is holding teams to 64.4 ppg in Big 12 play, which leads the league by 7.4 ppg.

• BU has held opponents to an average of 9.7 ppg below their scoring averages in Big 12 play.

• BU leads the league in FG% defense (41%) and rebounding margin (+9.1) in Big 12 play.

• Baylor’s defense this season has been its best of the Drew era – BU ranks 8th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency – Drew’s best previous defense was ranked No. 23 nationally in 2014-15.

• Baylor’s defense ranks 14th nationally in effective field goal percentage defense (44.8), 19th in 2-point FG defense (43.8), 25th in 3-point FG defense (31.3) and 17th in block percentage (13.9).

• BU is top-15 nationally in scoring defense (14th, 62.4) and rebounding margin (6th, +8.6).

• BU opponents average 18.6 seconds per possession, 8th-longest nationally according to KenPom.com.

• Drew is one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year.

• Drew is 240-109 since 2007-08, the first year he had a full allotment of scholarships.

• Baylor (149), Iowa State (143) and Kansas (175) are the only Big 12 teams with 125+ wins since 2011-12.

• Baylor is 94-77 in Big 12 play since 2008 after going 45-131 in the league’s first 11 seasons.

• BU is 37-57 against ranked teams since 2007-08 after going 0-27 in Drew’s first four rebuilding seasons.

• Motley is a Naismith Trophy semifinalist (1 of 10) and is on the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20, Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List (1 of 19) and is 1 of 10 finalists for the Karl Malone Award.

QUICK HITS

• Baylor is 6-3 vs. AP Top 25-ranked teams and 4-3 vs. AP Top 10 teams this season (wins vs. No. 4 Oregon, No. 24 Michigan State, No. 10 Louisville, No. 7 Xavier, at No. 25 Kansas State and No. 10 West Virginia).

• BU is 18-17 in Big 12 road games since 2014 and 27-26 since 2012, both trailing only Kansas.

• Baylor has 18 wins over ranked teams in the last three seasons (18-17 since 2014-15).

• BU has won 22+ games every year since 2012, one of 19 teams to make that claim entering 2016-17.

• Head coach Scott Drew is in his 14th season at Baylor and is the school’s all-time wins leader (274).

• Baylor has won 88% of its games when leading at the half since 2011-12 (116-16).

• BU has won 42% of games in which its been tied or trailing at the half since 2011-12, going 33-46 in those.

• The Bears have defeated four top-10 teams in a season for the first time in program history.

• Baylor climbed to No. 1 in the Jan. 9 AP Top 25, marking the first No. 1 ranking in program history.

• BU’s climb from unranked in week 1 to No. 1 in week 9 was the fastest by any team in AP Top 20/25 history.

• BU is one of four teams to reach the No. 1 spot after being unranked in the AP preseason top 20/25.

• BU received 55 first-place votes in the Jan. 9 AP poll and has notched 92 first-place votes in AP polls this season.

• Prior to this season, the Bears had only received one first-place vote since the first AP poll in 1949.

• Baylor is one of 13 teams to be nationally ranked in each of the last 10 seasons.

• Baylor is 47-29 in games decided by 5 or fewer points and 12-2 in overtime games since 2008-09.

• Baylor won the 2016 Battle 4 Atlantis with wins over VCU, No. 24 Michigan State and No. 10 Louisville. Johnathan Motley was named tournament MVP after averaging 20.0 points per game.

• Baylor has had a nation-leading four players selected in the NBA Draft since 2010 who weren’t ranked in the ESPN100 out of high school — Quincy Acy, Ekpe Udoh, Pierre Jackson and Taurean Prince.

• Six of BU’s seven starting point guards during the Drew era have earned All-Big 12 recognition.

• Baylor has the Big 12’s 2nd-longest active streak with at least one 3-point FG made in 830 straight games.

• BU did not receive any preseason poll votes for the first time since 2009-10.


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