Baylor vs. Kentucky 2012 Elite-Eight Predictions: When the competition gets stronger, the Kentucky Wildcats (35-2) just turn up their intensity of play; or at least it seems that way. On Thursday, SEC champion’s Kentucky faced Indiana in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament South Regional semifinals in what looked to be, what we call in basketball terms, “A barn burner”. It was tight for awhile but UK sent the Hoosiers packing by the score of 102-90. Kentucky will play their toughest opponent to date this Sunday against the Baylor Bears of the Big 12. Baylor (30-7) edged Xavier by five, 75-70 on Friday to advance. The game will be televised from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta by CBS with a start time of 5:05 p.m. ET.
As of Saturday, odds makers at online sports book TopBet.com list Kentucky as 7 1/2-chalk favorites against Baylor with a combined score total (over/under) of 148. Bears’ backers wagering for a SU upset win are getting +305 College Basketball Odds on the off shore money line while the price of a money line wager on Kentucky is -365 ($365 bet to win $100).
For Kentucky to beat Baylor they will need freshman Anthony Davis to have a better game than he did against Indiana. The Bears are solid inside with senior forward Quincy Acy. It will be fun watching the matchups in the game both inside and out. If Bears’ guard Brady Heslip gets hot from the outside, KU will have to leave focus on him while single teaming the Acy inside. However, the Bears need a big game from Heslip who scored a career high 27 points against Colorado in the third round but struggled against the Musketeers with 11.
The Wildcats had too many weapons for Indiana to overcome. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 24 points, Doron Lamb added 21 and three of their teammates, other than Davis, were in double figures. With that the Wildcats dispatched the team that beat them back in early December and are off to a regional final for the third year in a row.
Key’s to a Kentucky win: Davis must be active and neutralize Acy inside so defenders can focus on shutting down Haslip from the outside. I predict a tight game here so I’m making taking the points and making Baylor my pick; Baylor +7 1/2.
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