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Baylor comes into this year’s NCAA Tournament with another solid team under coach Scott Drew, but they are not as bulletproof as years past. Can they get past the Gauchos? Let’s break it down.

March Madness Predictions Today: Baylor vs. UC Santa Barbara Expert Pick

Baylor comes into the Tournament as a No. 3 seed after losing in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament to Iowa State in what was a very pathetic effort by the Bears. Baylor has not been playing well at all really over their past six games, as they are just 2-4 in those contests, with three of those losses coming by double digits. Their Achilles heel as of late is their spotty defense, as they are allowing 76 points per game to their opponents over those last six games mentioned above.

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Baylor vs. UC Santa Barbara Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date: Friday, March 17
  • Time: 1:30 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: TNT

Click here for Baylor vs. UC Santa Barbara odds

Baylor vs. UC Santa Barbara Prediction

Baylor has really struggled to defend the paint this year as they lack a true post presence on the offensive and defensive ends. Flo Thamba adds length, but he is more of a role player than an impact player on both ends. Baylor comes into this game ranked 314th in the nation in 2-point % defense… not very good for a team with national championship aspirations.

This is also not good for Baylor as USCB’s strength is their size inside and ability to finish in the paint. The Gauchos are currently ranked 24th in the country in 2-point % as a team, and they should be able to exploit Baylor’s lack of size on the inside.

Baylor is an extremely perimeter-oriented team, as Keyonte George, Adam Flagler, and LJ Cryer are all excellent players in their own right, but all are 6’4 or shorter. George and Flagler are the main offensive threats for the Bears, and while they will likely get theirs on the offensive end, they are both average to below-average perimeter defenders.

I see this game being a little higher scoring than some may anticipate due to Baylor’s inability to defend the painted area, so USCB should be able to go toe to toe with them. UCSB will have a big size and experience advantage in this matchup, considering how Baylor is coming into this game playing some of their worst/sloppiest ball of the season. I have to roll with the Gauchos to keep this game close. With that being said, I am rolling with UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) at +11 -103 for 2U as one of my MOST CONFIDENT College Basketball Plays of the Day.

Baylor vs. UC Santa Barbara Pick

Pick: UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) at +11 (-103) Bet $200 to collect $394 DraftKings has the best odds; click here to bet

Article Author


Joey has spent the last 6+ years betting on sports with a focus on basketball and baseball. Basketball is his main focus, and not many people know more about mid-major basketball than him. Whether you need advice on a Saturday night primetime game or a Tuesday night back-alley SWAC/MEAC game, Joey is your man.


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