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Baylor Falls to Florida 81-60; Bears Need Miraculous Run to Make NCAA Tournament

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The team looks like they’re going to miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Florida Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

After Florida (15-6) shot 9-of-12 from deep in the first half, Baylor (12-9) lost the second half too in route to an 81-60 defeat. The Bears look headed for the NIT, at best.

Florida was unstoppable from deep. Baylor opened in man-to-man with their traditional starting lineup. The Bears weren’t quick enough on some recoveries, but the Gators made plenty of contested shots. They started 7-of-8 from beyond the arc. After Tyson Jolly—who made some nice plays near the end of the half—was completely unaware of the time on the shot clock on Baylor’s final possession, Florida made another contested three to end the half. Baylor trailed 43-31 at the break.

Manu Lecomte battled foul trouble early. He picked up three first half fouls. Florida was able to get near the hoop and force switches. That lead to Lecomte playing just 11 first half minutes, well off what Baylor needs from their best player.

The Bears made too many awful mistakes in the first half. Florida shot extremely well. But the Bears made enough stupid mistakes to make that irrelevant. Nuni Omot fired a pass to Jo Lual-Acuil when he wasn’t close to open. Terry Maston and Lual-Acuil missed easy looks near the hoop, and King McClure and Maston missed free throws. Add that combination to Baylor’s 2-of-9 first half shooting performance, and the Bears once again faced a formidable halftime deficit.

Florida started the second half missing triples, going 0-of-4. The Bears couldn’t go on a run. The Bears started the second half missing threes and layups. By the under 16 timeout, Baylor trailed 49-38.

The Gators once again started making shots. Florida reached the bonus with 12:26 left in the half and built a 16 point lead.

The Bears cut the deficit to 10. But the Gators made more threes. They were 14-of-23 at the under four timeout and Baylor, 2-of-13 from deep, trailed 75-51.

If there’s any positive from today, it’s Terry Maston. He was active on the glass and had 14 points. Maybe he gets going, and Baylor goes on a run.

Mark Vital went down late with an ankle injury. He went for a loose ball and crashed into the seats. Hopefully it’s nothing serious.

This game was a combination of Florida going insane from deep, and Baylor showing so many of their weaknesses. The team finished just 3-of-14 from deep and struggled to contain driving guards while playing man-to-man. Baylor grabbed 10 offensive rebounds, but had just 10 second chance points (and four of those were in garbage time). Baylor’s not going to beat anybody good scoring .85 points per possession.

The Bears desperately need to go on a run. They lost close games against TCU, West Virginia and Kansas. They lost to a mediocre Iowa State team. If they win three of those games, then Kansas State and Florida getting hot doesn’t matter. But the Bears can’t get hot, and their opponents probably will a few times in the final 10 Big 12 games. It’s hard to see this team making the NCAA Tournament.