After suffering their first defeat of the season, a resounding 92-74 loss to Kansas at the Allen Fieldhouse on Monday, the No. 3 Baylor Bears will try to rebound at home against the No. 5 Missouri Tigers in a showdown with huge ramifications on the Big 12 conference race.
Because the conference is playing a true round-robin schedule this year, Baylor will have to travel to Columbia later in the season, meaning that holding serve in Waco is crucial for the Bears if they want to win the Big 12.
Missouri's only loss this season came on the road at Kansas State, and a victory over Baylor would be a huge ace in the hole to have going down the stretch in March, as well as giving the Tigers the type of signature win that might propel them to a No. 1 seed in the Tournament.
Missouri will try to keep the game out of the half-court as much as possible, as they only have one legitimate interior player -- the 6'8 Ricardo Ratliffe -- to combat the Bears NBA-caliber front-line of the 6'7 Quincy Acy, 6'11 Perry Jones III and 6'9 Quincy Miller.
Baylor's guards self-destructed in the hostile road atmosphere in Lawrence on Monday, allowing Tyshawn Taylor to dominate both sides of the ball. The Tigers will try to replicate that formula and press their advantage in the back-court behind potential All Big 12 performers Phil Pressey and Marcus Denmon.
The 1:00 PM game will be televised nationally by ESPN.