Yesterday's games didn't turn out exactly like Baylor fans wanted them to as the men fell in the Big XII Championship game to Missouri 90-75 in a game I thought was closer than the final score reflected, but there is plenty to be proud of for Baylor Basketball fans after the strong showing throughout the tournament by MBB and WBB bringing home their second consecutive (and fourth overall) conference tournament trophy.
Even though watching the final seconds tick away and a team that is bolting the conference for supposedly greener pastures win it in their last hurrah was hardly fun, I am at this point in time more confident in our team's chances to make a run in the NCAA Tournament than at any other point this season since the team was undefeated after non-conference play. The Bears showed poise and resilience in sweeping the state of Kansas in consecutive days and its star player, Perry Jones III, showed up like never before in this tournament. Finally we saw what his promise belied: a game-changer on offense and defense who made things easier for his teammates across the board. For all of the grief I've given him on this board and others, Scott Drew also showed up in a way Baylor fans have probably never seen before with timely adjustments, the long-awaited switch to a man defense utilizing our length and athleticism, and the confidence to give a player like Deuce Bello, who sat for entire stretches of conference play, significant run in important situations. This team grew in this tournament from a collection of great athletes-- a glorified AAU team as it is so often stated by fans that hate us-- to something resembling the schools we are chasing: an actual team.
Baylor fans should take pride in what their team did over the last 5 days-- reinvent itself in terms of national perception, defeat a Kansas Jayhawks team that trounced it twice in the regular season, secure a #3 seed in the NCAA Tournament at the very least, and convince themselves that they are not the same team that Missouri and Kansas handled so easily early in the year-- rather than what they didn't, which is bring home a trophy. Baylor fans should exalt in the individual performances from this tournament that will help Baylor basketball fill its history books with positivity rather than tragedy. Perry Jones III's domination of Kansas State, Brady Heslip's nails in Kansas's coffin, and Deuce Bello's inspired performance against Missouri's guards, etc., should all be celebrated for what they mean to this program even if the ultimate goal, a conference championship, was not realized. In the coming years I have no doubt it will be. This tournament was just another step along that path.
Head below the jump for coverage of the Lady Bears' dominating Big XII Championship victory and today's announcement of Baylor MBB's seed in the NCAA Tournament... (and maybe a little Robert Griffin III news, if you're lucky).
Since we are already talking about the men, let's finish there before acknowledging the outstanding play of the Lady Bears against Texas A&M yesterday.
(27-7) Rank: #12/11
Box Score | Quotes | Notes
Big 12 Championship Finals
(30-4) Rank: #5/5
Hot-Shooting Mizzou Sinks Men's Hoops in Title Game - Baylor Bears Official Athletic Site - BaylorBears.com
Perry Jones III led Baylor (27-7) with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Brady Heslip scored 14 and Deuce Bello came off the bench to add 13 for the Bears
Baylor Bears vs. Missouri Tigers - Recap - March 10, 2012 - ESPN
It seemed as if everybody was rooting against Missouri, the school that nearly brought the Big 12 to ruin, and you can be sure coach Frank Haith and the rest of the Tigers heard them.
Missouri takes out Baylor to win Big 12 tournament - BostonHerald.com
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Fifth-ranked Mizzou made its final Big 12 tournament one that will last in Missouri lore, swarming No. 12 Baylor, 90-75, to claim its second tournament title in four years just as it prepares to leaves for the Southeastern Conference this summer. With a crowd at the Sprint Center...
Missouri 90, Baylor 75: Tigers Win Big 12 Tournament Going Away - Rock M Nation
Exactly one year ago today, Missouri was getting run out of the Sprint Center by Texas A&M in the Big 12 Tournament, a precursor to an extremely short stay in the NCAA Tournament. Twelve months, a controversial coaching search, and a potentially catastrophic Laurence Bowers injury later ... Missouri is 30-4 and winners of its second Big 12 Tournament title in four seasons. This incredible team will be, at worse, a 2-seed in the NCAA Tournament next week, hopefully ready to win another few games in this incredible season.
Baylor Vs. Missouri Final Score: Tigers' Offense Too Much In 90-75 Victory - SBNation.com
Missouri left the Big 12 with a flourish on Saturday, overwhelming Baylor with a balanced offensive effort in its last conference game before leaving for the SEC next season.
No. 12 Baylor cut down to size in Big 12 loss - College Basketball - Rivals.com
Scott Drew called it a learning experience. Quincy Acy thought Baylor grew up. Perry Jones III was nearly at a loss for words, already trying to figure out what the Bears can do better when the NCAA tournament begins next week. Fifth-ranked Missouri certainly gave the Bears a lesson in March basketball. - College Basketball news
Baylor vs. Missouri - Recap - March 10, 2012 - College Basketball - SI.com
Baylor vs. Missouri recap from game played on March 10, 2012
Baylor Lady Bears Romp over Aggies for Second-Consecutive Big XII Tournament Championship
(22-10) Rank: #22/14
Box Score | Quotes | Notes
Big 12 Championship Finals
(34-0) Rank: #1/1
You wouldn't expect that Baylor would be able to so thoroughly obliterate the defending national champions in a game where Brittney Griner, fresh off a conference and personal record 45-point performance against Kansas State, scored a season-low 11 points in a pedestrian performance by her standards, but they did. They were able to do so because of the incredible depth Kim Mulkey has assembled for the #1-ranked Lady Bears and an outstanding game from Baylor's more diminutive superstar, PG Odyssey Sims. Overall, the Lady Bears finished the Big XII tournament with wins of 24, 21, and 23 points over Texas Tech, Kansas State, and Texas A&M, respectively, proving that nobody in the Big XII can touch this team this season.
The Lady Bears' seeding, which I believe will be announced tomorrow, has none of the same intrigue as their male counterparts; the Lady Bears will be the #1 overall seed in the NCAA Women's Tournament and will begin the tournament by playing at home. The only real question will be if the committee decides once again to put Texas A&M in our region.
WBB Wins Second Straight Tourney Title, Drops A&M - Baylor Bears Official Athletic Site - BaylorBears.com
Odyssey Sims poured in a season-high 26 points to help make up for an off afternoon by her All-American teammate, and the Lady Bears rolled to a 73-50 victory over No. 23 Texas A&M in the Big 12 tournament championship game.
Unbeaten Baylor Women Top Texas A& - M to Win Big 12 Final - NYTimes.com
The Lady Bears (34-0) wrapped up their second straight title and fourth over all by beating the Aggies for the third time this season.
Baylor Lady Bears win Big 12, turn eye toward NCAA tourney - ESPN
Baylor took care of business Saturday, continuing its perfect season and winning the Big 12 tournament title. But it's just another step toward the Bears' goal of an NCAA championship, and at least one opposing coach thinks the Lady Bears can go all the way.
Texas A&M Aggies vs. Baylor Lady Bears - Recap - March 10, 2012 - ESPN
The ticker-tape fell from the ceiling of old Municipal Auditorium, and Brittney Griner and the rest of her Baylor teammates hoisted another trophy as Big 12 tournament champions. Then they filed out of the arena and right back to the locker room.
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Redskins excited to select RGIII
Football . Redskins receiver Anthony Armstrong, who hopes to be catching passes soon from Robert Griffin
Redskins trade up and poised for Griffin III - chicagotribune.com
(Reuters) - The Washington Redskins will trade with the St. Louis Rams for the second pick in this year's National Football League (NFL) draft, giving them the chance to take highly-rated quarterback Robert Griffin III .
Redskins’ trade sparks debate about the worth of a top NFL QB - The Washington Post
The Redskins’ trade of four draft picks sparks debate on the value of a talented but unproven quarterback prospect in today’s NFL.
Watch Robert Griffin III: Redskins go all in for Baylor’s stellar QB - The Early Lead - The Washington Post
Robert Griffin III, the Heisman Trophy winner known for his collection of socks, appears to be the likely No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft after Washington’s blockbuster trade with St. Louis.
Redskins Acquire No. 2 Pick In 2012 NFL Draft From Rams, According To Reports - SBNation.com
The Washington Rams reportedly traded three first-round draft picks to the St. Louis Rams for the No. 2 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. The trade will, in all likelihood, net the Redskins Robert Griffin III.