Matchup: BYU vs. Baylor
Date/Time: April 2nd, 2013 7:00 ET
College Basketball Odds from WagerWeb
Point Spread: Baylor -3
BYU has been one of the most proficient offensive teams here in the NIT this season. The club has dropped at least 90 points on two of its three foes to date, and all of its games have been decided by double digits as a result. The most recent game was the most impressive, a 79-62 victory on the road in Hattiesburg against the top seeded Southern Miss Golden Eagles, who were tremendously stumped trying to figure out how to slow down the BYU attack. This offense only goes as far as G Tyler Haws takes it. Haws has been amazing this season in Provo. He has averaged 21.6 points per game, and his numbers here in the postseason have been even better. Thus far in three games in the NIT, the 6’5″ sharpshooter has put up an average of 28.7 points per game. He is getting a heck of a lot of help from the rest of his starting five as well. The combination of Haws, G Matt Carlino, F Nate Austin, F Brock Zylstra, and F Brandon Davies scored all 79 points against the Golden Eagles, and at least one of these other men along with Haws have scored at least 20 in each of the NIT games this year.
Baylor meanwhile, is the one team that has done more scoring than BYU has here in the NIT. The Bears have averaged 93.3 points per game. Obviously, dropping 112 on the Long Beach State 49ers helped out a ton, and shooting 40-of-63 in that game was absolutely insane. However, we have consistently seen this team put up huge numbers over the course of the last few games against the Providence Friars and the Arizona State Sun Devils as well. The man of the hour has clearly been the smallest man on the court. G Pierre Jackson averages almost 20 points and nearly seven assists per game this season, and he has obliterated those numbers in the second season. Standing at just 5’10″, it’s amazing that this point guard can do it all. Not only has he averaged 23.2 points, 9.6 assists, and 1.8 steals per game in his last five, but he also has accounted for just a total of 10 turnovers in those games and has averaged 4.6 boards per game as well.
What we have seen for the most part this year with the teams from the WCC is that they just don’t have the goods to compete with the really big boys. We saw Gonzaga and St. Mary’s both bow out of the NCAA Tournament early, and though we have seen BYU and Santa Clara reach the finales of their respective tournaments, we know that this is a “big boy” type of challenge. Baylor’s athleticism will rule the day over the Cougars on Tuesday night to move onto the NIT Final. Baylor 82 – BYU 76
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.