After nearly beating Kansas on Saturday, Baylor (12-8, 2-6) will now need to go on a run to make the NCAA Tournament after falling to Kansas State (15-5, 5-3) 90-83.
Kansas State came out hot. Barry Brown started 3-of-4 from deep, and Dean Wade—the reigning winner of several player of the week awards—took the Bears inside and out. The Wildcats rushed out to a 16 point first half lead.
The Bears fought back. Tristan Clark had an impressive half, as he was active on the glass and even showed some range. Jo Lual-Acuil hit a three before halftime, and Jake Lindsey drew another one of his charges off an inbound pass. Baylor entered the second half down by just five.
The Wildcats took over. Brown continued to knife his way to the hoop, and Cartier Diarra was excellent too. Baylor’s offense turned it over, and the Wildcats went on a massive run after Lindsey picked up his fourth foul.
Baylor made one final run; it wasn’t enough. After trailing 73-55, the Bears went on an 11-0 run. Kansas State answered. Brown drilled a contested three, and the Wildcats scored enough and made a few stops.
This was a poorly officiated game. There were more moving screens called than any Big 12 can I recall. But the Bears did not lose because of officiating. They lost because they couldn’t stop Brown and Wade.
Baylor did well on the offensive glass. Still, they turned it over too much, shot fairly poorly and faced a Wildcat team that was excellent from beyond the arc and able to get to the hoop whenever it wanted. Brown finished with 32 points and Wade had 24. They were the two best players on the floor.
This was a tough loss for Baylor. Kansas State is good, but an NCAA Tournament team can’t lose to TCU and Kansas State at home and Iowa State on the road, unless they’re able to pick up some huge wins. The Bears have been unable to do that. Now they’ll have to do it several times.