Preview: BYU gets a rematch against Baylor on Tuesday

After the Cougars' heartbreaking loss in Waco earlier this season, they get one more shot at the Baylor Bears

Richie Saunders rises for an inside shot against Baylor
Richie Saunders rises for an inside shot against Baylor / Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Following a bad loss against Oklahoma State, BYU will take on a Baylor team that could give BYU some real problems--even in Provo.

The 25th-ranked Cougars and the number 11 Bears will face off on Tuesday for the second time this season, with Baylor winning the last contest 81-72 in the Foster Pavilion. BYU once led that game by double digits, before letting their lead slip in what would have been a statement win. Questionable officiating down the stretch led many fans to think this game was stolen from the Cougs, but in the following games, their tendency to build a big lead only to have their opponent come screaming back into the game suggests that losing big leads may be an issue of play style, rather than officiating.

Baylor is currently 3rd in the Big XII standings, with big wins over Auburn, Iowa State, and Oklahoma. The Bears have struggled at times, losing 3 straight games in January against Kansas State, Texas, and TCU, and has struggled to win on the road (this is the Big XII, after all). BYU's home court advantage could give the Cougars an edge in the second contest, but a win is hardly a guarantee against a top-15 team at this point in the season.

Fousseyni Traore
Fousseyni Traore controls the ball against Baylor / Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

BYU lost their most recent game against Oklahoma State in Stillwater, proving that the Cougars could lose almost any game if they are having a bad shooting night. They'll need to cross their fingers and send up a prayer to the 3-point gods if they want to beat a tough Baylor squad, even in Provo. Defense has also been a major concern for the Cougars, who have dropped to the 2nd-worst defensive team in the Big XII after being considered one of the best defenses before giving up 88 points to UCF and 93 to Ok State in their last two games. The recent defensive struggles could just be two teams getting hot from the floor at the wrong times, but it may be something deeper than that. Great defensive teams rarely get shot off the floor, but BYU has begun to make a habit of that.

You can watch this game at 7:00 MST on ESPN+ or listen on KSL NewsRadio.

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