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Why the Bears are still capable of making a run

Since setting a Big 12 record, winning its 22nd-straight at Oklahoma on Feb. 18th, Baylor has lost three of its past five games. But, the metrics still love BU.
Credit: Kurtis Quillin/KCEN
Devonte Bandoo (2) dribbles up the floor in transition during a Big 12 men's basketball game between No. 2 Baylor and Kansas State at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas, on Feb. 25, 2020. The Bears won, 85-66, clinching their first Top-2 finish as members of the Big 12.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Don't let the final five games of the regular season fool you, the Baylor Bears are still capable of making a run to Atlanta, that's according to the metrics. Baylor is still one of the top teams in the country, according to KenPom.

"The most important thing heading into the postseason is to have a fresh mind, fresh legs and being healthy," ESPN College Basketball Analyst Jay Bilas said before the network's hit pregame show, College GameDay, was in Waco before the Feb. 22nd showdown between Baylor and Kansas.

This season, Baylor has set a few program records including, most conference wins, best finish as a Big 12 member and longest win streak by a Big 12 Conference school

The Bears are three wins from another program first, a Big 12 Tournament championship.

"I don't think it matters so much. If it's Baylor and Kansas, are they going into the postseason with three losses, two or whatever it is," Bilas said. "I don't think that's that big of a deal. It's possible Baylor and Kansas can play four times this year."

At 15-3 in Big 12 play, the Bears' defense helped them gain a six-game lead on the four-way tie between Texas, Texas Tech, West Virginia and Oklahoma. 

"The way they play, I love this Baylor team," ESPN College Basketball Analyst Seth Greenberg said before College GameDay's show in Waco. "They remind me of an old-school Big East team, quite honestly."

According to KenPom, the Bears are the fourth nationally in defensive efficiency trailing Virginia, Kansas and West Virginia. However, Baylor leads the Big 12 Conference and has allowed just 60.1 points per game. 

Kansas was second at 60.7 points per game.

"They're a very good tempo control team. It's not a thousand miles per hour," Bilas said. "But they're very good on both ends. Their spacing is very good on offense."

Experts are still looking at the Big 12 as a two-horse race, with Kansas and Baylor both listed as No. 1 seeds in most projections, five days before Selection Sunday.

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