Colgate vs. Baylor March Madness Preview and Prediction

In the No. 14 vs. No. 3 matchup in the NCAA Tournament West Region, the Colgate Raiders face the Baylor Bears in first-round action.

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How to Watch Colgate vs. Baylor

When: 12:40 pm ET on Friday, March 22nd

Where: FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee

Watch: TruTV

Odds for Colgate vs. Baylor

(odds current at time of publish)

Spread: Baylor -13

Total: 137.5

DraftKings Betting Splits | Live College Basketball Odds | Colgate vs. Baylor Matchup

West Region No. 14 Colgate Raiders

The Raiders were a cut above everybody in the Patriot League this year, and their defense was a big part of that. This season, KenPom and Bart Torvik had Colgate as a borderline top-100 defensive team. And the reason for that is that the Raiders have a top-50 EFG% defense in college basketball. They also have a top-20 3PT defense in the nation. And on top of all of that, they guard at a high level without fouling. When you combine that with the fact that this team plays the right way offensively — the Raiders are top 75 in the nation in EFG% — you’re looking at a team that has first-round upset potential in March Madness. Colgate can shoot the heck out of the 3-ball and has been knocking on the door for years. 

West Region No. 3 Baylor Bears

As long as Bryce Drew is at Baylor, you can count on the Bears to have an elite offense. This year is no different, as Baylor is a top-10 team when it comes to offensive efficiency. And part of the reason for that is the Bears shooting nearly 40.0% from behind the 3-point line. With firepower like that, it’s hard to rule out a run for Bayor. And people will enjoy seeing guys like Ja’Kobe Walter, RayJ Dennis and Yves Missi on the national stage. The issue with Baylor is that the team is outside the top 50 when it comes to defensive efficiency. The Bears were a top-25 group when they won the national title in 2021. They likely won’t win again until they strike the right balance on offense and defense. 

Colgate vs. Baylor Preview & Prediction

For the fourth straight year, Colgate represents the Patriot League. This year’s team is a lot different than last season’s. Last year’s team actually led the nation in 3P% and eFG% going into the Big Dance. Texas beat them by 20. It felt all too similar to 2022, when Colgate was a popular upset pick against Wisconsin and lost. They were also a popular upset pick against Arkansas in 2021 and lost by 17.

I’m not sure we’ll hear people singing the Raiders’ praises this time around, as this year’s team is in the 220s in adjusted offensive efficiency per Bart Torvik and 210s per KenPom. Last year’s team was a top-50 squad per Torvik. Colgate has finished in the top 10 in 3P% against Division I foes in four of the last six seasons. This year’s team is well off of that pace, though.

Of course, we’ve seen Scott Drew have his share of screw-ups early in the NCAA Tournament and Baylor seemed thoroughly disengaged against Iowa State in the Big 12 Tournament after beating Cincinnati. By Baylor standards, this isn’t a great version. Offensively, they are quite good and shoot the 3 about as good as anybody, but this team has some major defensive flaws.

They still finished with 10 Quadrant 1 wins and I can’t see Colgate putting too much fear into their hearts in this one, but focus seems to be a pretty regular issue. Outside of the championship team in 2021, Baylor has lost in the second round each of the last two years, second round in 2019, first round in 2015 and 2016. I’m not sure Colgate is the team, but they could keep this one close enough to make it interesting.

Estimated Score: Baylor 77, Colgate 62

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