Setting the stage: No. 2 OU vs. No. 7 Baylor

OU guard Buddy Hield

OU has won five of six. Baylor has won eight of nine. The Sooners and Bears meet in the Big 12 conference quarterfinals.

With OU firmly entrenched in the Big 12 tournament, SoonersIllustrated.com is going to preview each of the Sooners conference games.

No. 2 Oklahoma (23-8) at No. 7 Baylor (22-10)

When: 6 p.m. CST, Sprint Center, Kansas City

Last game: OU could not have closed the regular season in a better fashion, leaving no doubt in a 97-67 victory at TCU. The Bears opened up the Big 12 tournament in a strong way of their own with an impressive victory against the same Horned Frogs on Wednesday.

What to watch for: How OU handles being the favorite even if it's tough to call anybody a favorite in this loaded conference tournament. Never easy to beat a team as talented like Baylor three times in one season.

Sophomore guard Buddy Hield has become the leader on the team and no question is the most consistent player for the Sooners. As Hield goes, it's usually how the Sooners go.

Playing away from home is something that OU is not afraid of. OU was 5-4 on the road in conference and 9-5 overall in road or neutral site games.

Part of the reason OU fares so well outside of Norman is because OU is one of just nine teams this season to use the same starting lineup for every game.

Scouting the Bears: There isn't a hotter team in the conference than the Bears. From being on the outside looking in to being on the bubble to now being firmly entrenched in the tournament, Baylor is rolling.

Baylor has won eight of its last nine games. Much like OU, the Bears are a balanced bunch with four players averaging at least 10 points for Scott Drew's club.

Leading the way is Cory Jefferson at 13.4 points per game and averaged 8.1 rebounds per contest. He scored 20 points and 10 rebounds on Wednesday. Royce O'Neale had 14 points and 12 boards in the win.

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