Sagarin/Dolphin predictions for Baylor game

It's Baylor. Should be an easy game to call, right? After all,Baylor is picked to finish last in the Big XII, and they're going up against a contender. Their highest ranking comes in Dolphin's pairwise list, where the Bears are #185. They've played one of the weakest schedules in Division I.

The Sagarin Pure Points ratings give Kansas a 14.5-point edge in the contest with an 87 percent chance of winning the game. Kansas is still underrated by 2.5 points, while the Bears are overrated by 1.1 points, which would boost the margin in favor of Kansas to a comfortable 18.2 points.

But here is where things get interesting. Baylor has been getting better. They are showing a positive trend of 2.4 points per game. Look at how they played 26 points below expectation against Louisiana Monroe, 12 points below expectation against Arkansas Pine Bluff, 16 points below expectation against Corpus Christi, and 22 points below expectation against SMU, all right after one another at the beginning of the season. Then came the turnaround. They played 11 points above expectation against Prairie View, 11 points above expectation against Purdue, 10 points above expectation against Chicago State, 5 points above expectation against Texas (on the road), 9 points above expectation against Savannah State, 14 points above expectation against Oklahoma (at home), and 10 points above expectation against Colorado in picking up a conference victory. The only bump in that trend came in their most recent game against Oklahoma State, when they played 3 points below expectation. If you extrapolate a 2.4 points per game trend 7.5 games into the future, you get an improvement of a whopping 18 points.

Meanwhile, Kansas has been showing a negative trend for some time, and after the thud in Philadelphia, it's now at 1.58 points per game. After all, the Jayhawks played 11 points below expectation against Nebraska and 21 points below expectation against Villanova. If you extrapolate that trend 8 games into the future, that's a 13 point decline for Kansas. In other words, the trends are enough to reverse the outcome of this game and allow Baylor to come away with a victory. And it's not unprecedented either. Four years ago, a 19-3 Kansas team traveled to Waco and came home saddled with an 8-point loss.

In other words, this game isn't so easy to call.

Dolphin puts the final score as Kansas 76, Baylor 61, with the Jayhawks having an 89 percent chance of winning the game. But will the recent trends continue, or will the Jayhawks finally wake up? Some blame the recent injuries on the poor recent performances. If that's the case, then things aren't going to get much better. As long as Simien is wearing a soft cast, you have to expect that it will affect his ability to handle and rebound the ball. Giles has a foot bruise and is likely to be out for the game. Galindo aggravated his groin injury. Niang is said to have the flu. Has Langford completely recovered from the concussion? Moody is still limping around. The question is whether Kansas will come out of the gate with a fire in their collective bellies after being humilated in Philadelphia.

No folks, unfortunately, this game is not so easy to call.

In one other important Big XII contest, Tucker-less Texas is a 3-point favorite at home against Texas Tech. If Texas falls, they're pretty much out of the conference race.


               ======================== Sagarin =======================
               Rate    SoS    Elo     PP   Perf   Inc.       Trend
               ====   ====   ====   ====   ====   ====   ==============
Kansas         #  8   #  5   #  5   # 15   +2.5   13.2   -1.58 +/- 0.69
Baylor         #187   #317   #186   #201   -1.1   13.4   +2.42 +/- 0.60 

               ============ Massey ============     === RPI ===     ====
               Rate    SoS    Pow    Off    Def     Rate    SOS     Rec.
               ====   ====   ====   ====   ====     ====   ====     ====
Kansas         #  3   #  4   #      #      #        #  1   #  1     14-1
Baylor         #207   #282   #      #      #        #252   #303      9-6

               ======================= Dolphin ======================
               Std.   Med.   Pre.   IRPI   RPI    Pair   Poll   Sched
               ====   ====   ====   ====   ====   ====   ====   =====
Kansas         #  5   #  5   # 11   #  1   #  1   #  2   #  6   0.895
Baylor         #190   #191   #206   #194   #197   #185   #190  -0.524

Here is Kansas' season:

SITE   OPPONENT                         SCORE    PREDIC    ERROR    PROB.
====   =============================   =======   ======    =====    =====
HOME   # 24 Vermont                     68  61    +7.53    -0.53
HOME   #114 Saint Joseph's              91  51   +16.68   +23.32
HOME   # 68 Nevada                      85  52   +13.71   +19.29
HOME   # 63 Pacific                     81  70   +13.49    -2.49
HOME   #119 TCU                         93  74   +16.94    +2.06
HOME   #135 Louisiana-Lafayette         96  51   +18.28   +26.72
HOME   # 52 South Carolina              64  60   +12.07    -8.07
HOME   # 38 Wis.-Milwaukee              73  62   +10.32    +0.68
HOME   # 14 Georgia Tech                70  68    +3.91    -1.91
HOME   # 37 Texas A&M                   65  60   +10.19    -5.19
AWAY   #  9 Kentucky                    65  59    -6.35   +12.35
AWAY   # 87 Iowa State                  71  66    +7.07    -2.07
AWAY   #116 Colorado                    76  61    +8.49    +6.51
HOME   # 61 Nebraska                    59  57   +13.32   -11.32
AWAY   # 28 Villanova                   62  83    +0.31   -21.31
AWAY   #201 Baylor                               +14.51             0.865
HOME   # 13 Texas                                 +3.02             0.591
HOME   #105 Missouri                             +16.07             0.889
AWAY   # 61 Nebraska                              +5.00             0.648
AWAY   #100 Kansas State                          +7.48             0.715
HOME   #116 Colorado                             +16.81             0.899
AWAY   #  7 Texas Tech                            -6.47             0.311
HOME   # 87 Iowa State                           +15.39             0.879
AWAY   #  4 Oklahoma                              -7.91             0.274
HOME   #  5 Oklahoma State                        +0.73             0.522
HOME   #100 Kansas State                         +15.80             0.885
AWAY   #105 Missouri                              +7.75             0.722

Latest season projection is now for five cumulative losses. There are just two projected losses in individual games, namely the road games against Texas Tech and Oklahoma. Oklahoma State's recent losses dropped their rating enough to give Kansas a 0.7-point edge in the contest at Allen Field House.

Here is Baylor's season:


SITE   OPPONENT                         SCORE    PREDIC    ERROR    PROB.
====   =============================   =======   ======    =====    =====
Div2        Hillsdale                   92  51
HOME   #295 Louisiana-Monroe            61  75   +11.86   -25.86
HOME   #330 Ark.-Pine Bluff             63  53   +21.56   -11.56
HOME   #162 Texas A&M-CorpusChristi     58  73    +1.17   -16.17
AWAY   # 86 SMU                         43  77   -11.61   -22.39
HOME   #310 Southern U.                 75  62   +13.61    -0.61
HOME   #332 Md.-Eastern Shore           97  73   +30.07    -6.07
HOME   #329 Prairie View A&M            84  52   +20.64   +11.36
AWAY   #123 Purdue                      73  72    -9.53   +10.53
HOME   #259 Chicago State               77  59    +7.83   +10.17
AWAY   # 13 Texas                       60  79   -23.97    +4.97
HOME   #331 Savannah State              86  50   +27.35    +8.65
HOME   #  4 Oklahoma                    61  65   -18.26   +14.26
HOME   #116 Colorado                    67  59    -1.86    +9.86
AWAY   #  5 Oklahoma State              53  82   -26.26    -2.74
HOME   # 15 Kansas                               -14.51             0.140
AWAY   # 37 Texas A&M                            -16.80             0.105
AWAY   # 87 Iowa State                           -11.60             0.193
HOME   #  5 Oklahoma State                       -17.94             0.090
AWAY   #  7 Texas Tech                           -25.14             0.030
HOME   # 61 Nebraska                              -5.35             0.345
AWAY   #105 Missouri                             -10.92             0.208
HOME   # 13 Texas                                -15.65             0.122
AWAY   #100 Kansas State                         -11.19             0.202
AWAY   #  4 Oklahoma                             -26.58             0.024
HOME   #  7 Texas Tech                           -16.82             0.105
HOME   # 37 Texas A&M                             -8.48             0.263
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