Tonight's game was Baylor's 6th loss of the conference schedule and the last real chance Baylor probably had to make a statement to the Tournament selection committee. What looked at one point to be such a promising season for the Bears now hangs on the slightest of hopes: that Baylor will pull off a huge upset win over one of the Kansas schools or win the conference tournament outright. I don't think I'm being overly negative to say those things are unlikely, at best.
This game was different than most in that Baylor actually looked pretty good when the game started, but the Bears trailed by 5 at halftime and every time they got closer than that in the second half, Iowa State nailed a couple of threes and opened things back up. Even a superhuman effort from Pierre Jackson couldn't help the Bears overcome extremely poor defense, a lackluster first half on both ends from Isaiah Austin, and frankly, a better overall team in the Iowa State Cyclones. This Baylor team should be better than it is, but it isn't. And that's something we're going to talk about for a good long while, I think.
Before anyone takes this the wrong way, I'm not giving up on this team. I don't think they are, either, despite the pain you saw in Pierre's face after he missed those late free throws. Tonight's game, however, makes things much more difficult than they would have otherwise been. Much more difficult than it should have been, to be honest. It's still possible, certainly, for the Bears to make it to the Tournament where anything can happen. But it's not at all likely, and they'll probably be on the outside looking in when the Selection Committee makes its calls.*
*It's being argued to me on twitter that Baylor can probably get in by winning three of the last five (OU, WVU, and UT, all of which are away games) and then taking one or two in the Big 12 Tournament. I will grant that is probably the best chance we have. I think it's asking a lot to just win those three road games, though.
Here's the final Baylor box. The Bears' next game is this Saturday in Norman against Oklahoma, who is also fighting for inclusion but arguably headed the opposite direction.
|Pierre Jackson, G||13-19||3-5||1-8||3||4||8||2||0||3||3||30|
|Cory Jefferson, F||7-12||0-1||1-1||3||10||0||0||3||1||2||15|
|Brady Heslip, G||3-8||3-7||0-0||0||0||2||1||0||1||2||9|
|Isaiah Austin, C||3-11||1-4||1-2||3||9||0||0||1||2||1||8|
|A.J. Walton, G||2-8||0-0||4-5||2||3||1||3||0||1||5||8|
|Rico Gathers, F||2-2||0-0||1-1||1||4||0||1||1||0||2||5|
|Gary Franklin, G||2-6||1-4||0-0||0||1||0||0||0||1||1||5|
|L.J. Rose, G||0-0||0-0||2-2||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||2|
|Deuce Bello, G||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|