Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Game to Watch
Baylor at no. 3 Kansas These two teams will meet tonight on ESPN 2 at 9. This one has me more excited than the prospect of a Gin Blossoms reunion tour...wait, you mean they already came back and I missed it...embarrassing. Anyway, Baylor was the team that upset Kansas in the first round of the Big XII tourney last year, and this one could shape up into a great game. Or a blowout. One of the two.
The impressive thing about Baylor is that they're 14 and 2. The really unimpressive thing is their loss to Colorado. Pretender? In the words of the immortal Lee Corso, not so fast my friend! Yes, losing to Colorado is a black eye that can't be easily erased. And, Baylor doesn't have a really good win to speak of. You know what they do have? Ekpe Udoh. I'm an Udoh- fanatic. A Fudoh, if you will (I'm trademarking that, by the way). He is averaging 14 points, 11 rebounds and over 4 blocks a game. Is he a better center than Cole Aldrich? Probably not. But I can tell you that if you look at his body of work, it's clear that Baylor is utilizing him better than Kansas is utilizing Aldrich.
Baylor also has this guy named LaceDarius Dunn. LaceDarius has been an explosive scoring threat his whole career, but last year you could have described his on court demenor as "emotional." If you're looking for a descriptor this year, try mature. His own court growth is one of the main reasons he's scored over 20 points in his last three games, and leads the team in scoring.
On the flip side of the argument, there's, well, Kansas. The team with Cole Aldrich, Sherron Collins and Xavier Henry, plus at least a couple more that will likely see some floor time in the NBA. There is the longest active home winning streak in the nation at 52 games. With the exception of last year's loss in the tournament, there is Kansas's historical domination of Baylor. Despite all of this, Collins hasn't been having his best games of late. Kansas really struggled with Baylor's zone in the upset loss last year. And, while Kansas is shooting 50 percent from the field in Big XII play, Baylor is shooting 49.9 percent.
Home winning streaks are built to be broken. And this could be a great one. Just don't be surprised if it isn't.