This one was a thriller. After two regular season losses to the Sooners, Baylor rode an incredible first half to a victory against No. 2 Oklahoma and a trip to the semifinal round of the Big 12 Tournament versus the winner of West Virginia-Texas later tonight. Great nights by Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson had the experts talking and tweeting all evening, and Baylor may have pushed its way out of the dreaded 8/9 seed zone.
OU fought its way back into the game midway through the second half after trailing by as much as 21. A six-minute field goal drought had a lot of us sweating before a Taurean Prince jumper and Sooner turnover stopped the bleeding. The Sooners pulled within 4 in the last three minutes before a strong defensive showing allowed the Bears to pull away for the victory
As mentioned above, the big men were the driving force in the victory. Isaiah Austin put up five blocks in the first half alone, and Cory Jefferson jammed in several shots that would have otherwise been missed on his way to yet another double-double. Jefferson has logged double-doubles in 6 of his last 9 games and leads the conference with 13 on the season.
Because I'm not as well-versed in the game of basketball as many of you, I'll refrain from spewing too much analysis and defer to twitter. I will say that this team is peaking at the right time, and I have a hunch that the best is yet to come. Also, snaps for Royce O'Neale for showing great hustle all night long. He singlehandedly bought the Bears several extra possessions, despite a few boneheaded moves in the last minute.
From the Twitterverse:
I swear, they tweeted this after I made the Royce note.
I don't know where this Isaiah Austin has been for Baylor's first 32 games. But when's at this level, Bears are a nightmare matchup.— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) March 14, 2014
Baylor, my pick to win the Big 12 tourney, looking pretty good— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) March 13, 2014
For all the talk of an unpredictable Big 12 tourney, higher seeds are 4-0 so far this week.— David Ubben (@davidubben) March 13, 2014
NOT ANYMORE, UBBS.
OHHHHHHHHHH…KLAHOMA WHERE THE BEARS RUN FREELY DOWN THE LANE— Fake Dan Beebe (@DanBeebe) March 14, 2014
Baylor won. Discuss amongst yourselves in the comments.