While No. 6 Baylor had their most dominant win of the season against Oklahoma State, a 106-65 drubbing in Waco on Jan. 14, they will still need to be careful Saturday in Stillwater if they expect to get their first season sweep against the Cowboys in 90 years.
Gallagher-Iba Arena is one of the toughest places to play in the country; Oklahoma State upset No. 4 Missouri 79-72 there on Jan. 25.
The 11-11 Cowboys seemed to have turned a corner after the Bears blew them out, playing close games against likely NCAA Tournament teams Iowa State and Kansas State in addition to the win over the Tigers.
The biggest difference has been the improved play of 6'7 230 freshman SF LeBryan Nash.
Nash, a McDonald's All-American from Dallas Lincoln picked to be the Big 12 Freshman of the Year in the pre-season, struggled with the transition to the college game most of the season. However, he put together a dominant 27 point performance against Missouri, using his size to shoot 12-18 from the floor while grabbing 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
If he continues his inspired play, he could make a late run at the conference's post-season Freshman of the Year award, although Baylor's Quincy Miller is still the front-runner.
Despite being relegated to a secondary role in the offense due to the return of Perry Jones III from an early-season suspension and the emergence of Pierre Jackson, Miller has averaged 12.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists on 48.8% shooting from the field this season.
The match-up between Miller and Nash will likely keep NBA scouts buzzing, but the good news for Baylor is their highly-touted freshman only has to hold his own, as no one on the Oklahoma State front-line has a chance of matching up with the 6'11 235 Jones.
However, the Cowboys have several excellent three-point shooters, in particular senior G Keiton Page, who shoots 34.4% from beyond the arc while taking 7.4 3's a game, and the Bears will need to mark him for 40 minutes if they stay in their customary 1-3-1 zone.
The 12:45 PM game will be televised regionally on the Big 12 Network, while ESPN3 will have a live internet stream of the game.