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Men's College Basketball
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Kansas State vs Baylor
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, March 12, 2020
Where: Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri

After a 23-game winning streak sent it to the top of the national rankings, Baylor looked vulnerable in losing three of its last five to end the regular season. The fifth-ranked Bears will try to stay alive for a top seed in the NCAA Tournament with a quality run as the No. 2 seed in the Big 12 tourney, beginning in the quarterfinals against 10th-seeded Kansas State on Thursday at a mostly empty Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

"When you win 23 in a row, obviously your confidence is an all-time high," Baylor coach Scott Drew told reporters. "Then when you lose a couple, your confidence definitely isn't the same." The Bears' first three losses each came by exactly three points before they suffered a 76-64 setback at West Virginia on Saturday. The Wildcats snapped a 10-game losing streak with a win in their regular-season finale and made it two wins in a row by upending TCU 53-49 in the first round Wednesday in the last game of the tournament with fans before Thursday ushers in an attendance policy to address coronavirus. Junior guard Cartier Diarra was the lone Kansas State player to score in double digits, finishing with 13 points to go along with three steals.

TIME: 7 p.m. ET. TV: ESPN2

ABOUT KANSAS STATE (11-21): The Wildcats survived Wednesday despite a 2-of-11 shooting night by leadiner scorer Xavier Sneed, who finished with eight points - more than six below his season average. Diarra had five points in a game-opening 13-2 run and Kansas State led by as many as 17 before hanging on to improve to 2-9 in its last 11 games decided by single digits. "Finally found a way to win a close game," coach Bruce Weber, whose team fell to Baylor by six points in the first meeting and 19 in the second, told reporters. "It's been awhile."

ABOUT BAYLOR (26-4): Sophomore guard Jared Butler - a Big 12 First Team selection - leads the Bears in scoring (16.0) and is averaging 19.1 over his last seven games after putting in 21 in Saturday's loss. Junior guard MaCio Teague is the one other Baylor player averaging in double figures (13.9), while sophomore guard Davion Mitchell is up to 9.9 after producing 15 against the Mountaineers. Sophomore guard Matthew Mayer scored a career-high 19 points in 20 minutes in an 85-66 win over Kansas State on Feb. 25.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Wildcats junior G Mike McGuirl tied his career highs with seven rebounds and six assists Wednesday.

2. Butler averaged 18 points on 63.2 percent shooting in the two wins over Kansas State this season.

3. The winner meets either No. 3 seed Oklahoma or No. 6 West Virginia in the semifinals Friday night.

PREDICTION: Baylor 72, Kansas State 58
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
Kansas State 11-21 W2 9-7 1-10 1-4 4-6 7-15 4-15
Baylor 26-4 L1 14-1 8-2 4-1 10-4 16-0 15-3
Last Meeting
Kansas State Baylor
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
2/25/20 KSU 66 BAY 85 66 30 44.9 85 30 49.1
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Kansas State C. Diarra 19 63.6 2
Baylor M. Mayer 19 85.7 5
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Kansas State C. Diarra 6 1 5
Baylor F. Gillespie 11 5 6
Assists Player  
Kansas State D. Sloan 5
Baylor D. Mitchell 10
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Kansas State X. Sneed 455 36.5 116
Baylor J. Butler 480 42.1 69
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Kansas State M. Mawien 173 53 120
Baylor F. Gillespie 271 124 147
Assists Player  
Kansas State C. Diarra 134
Baylor D. Mitchell 114
Quickchart Matchup
blue bar Kansas State Off vs  red bar Baylor Defense
blue bar 64.2 Points For
red bar 60.1 Points Against
blue bar 41.4 FG%
red bar 39.7 FG%
blue bar 29.7 Reb
red bar 30.0 Reb
red bar Baylor Off vs  blue bar Kansas State Defense
red bar 71.1 Points For
blue bar 65.0 Points Against
red bar 42.9 FG%
blue bar 43.0 FG%
red bar 34.1 Reb
blue bar 31.4 Reb