2013 NCAA Tournament: Baylor Bears on the outside looking in

USA TODAY Sports

With the announcement the last few minutes of the brackets for the 2013 NCAA Tournament, the Baylor Bears find themselves looking to the NIT for a chance at some form of redemption for this season. After losing to eventual champion Kentucky in last year's Elite 8, the Bears failed to make the Tournament.

Next year's run to the Elite 8 is going to be quite memorable indeed, as the Bears continued the streak of NCAA-not-NCAA-not-NCAA-not of the last six years. The Bears joined every other team from the state of Texas at home this Tournament season, watching instead of competing in what has become known as the Big Dance.

The only real "madness" in this bracket seems to be the seeding of Pac12 Champion Oregon as a 12-seed behind UCLA as a 6. The Big 12 is well-represented, relatively, with Kansas as a #1, Kansas State a #4 in the South, Iowa State a #10 in the South, and Oklahoma State as a #5. That Oregon State-Oregon game is going to be quite interesting. Kentucky not making it this season is also a bit of a surprise considering the cache they have in the minds of CBB deciders.

I can't say I'm that disappointed by this news because it's simply not surprising. You can cite data points in Baylor's favor (beating one #1 seed by 23 and losing to another by 7 on the road, beating a #5, etc. etc.) all day long, but they really don't matter. The Bears were 18-14 and should have been better given the opportunities ahead of them. I can't really argue that a team who lost to College of Charleston at home should be in the NCAA Tournament.

So we look ahead now to the NIT, where Baylor hopes to potentially host a round or two and might make some noise deep into the field. Of course, that's a race for the 69th-best team in the country.

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