The expectations for the 2018-2019 team have changed more than the Texas weather the last few weeks. To start the season, I think most fans would agree that the goal was for this Baylor team to make the NCAA tournament. Towards the end of non-conference play, however, the NIT seemed like the best-case scenario, and after Tristan Clark went down with a season ending injury, fans prepared for the worst; the hope was that our younger players would develop and maybe Baylor would avoid finishing last in the conference. Then unexpectedly, Baylor was in the midst of a possible Big 12 championship after ripping off six straight wins. Finally, the Bears have come full-circle on our expectations; the goal is to make the NCAA tournament.
Although Baylor is about to enter one of their toughest stretches, there is still optimism that the Bears will be able to punch a ticket to March Madness. The remaining homes are against some the weaker opponents in the conference (Texas, WVU, & OSU) and winning all three of these games would place Baylor with a winning record in the conference. The remaining away games are against tough opponents; however, Baylor can go into those games with at least some confidence. Both Iowa State and Texas Tech have already been defeated by the Bears this season, and the Kansas schools will be playing without significant contributors, with Lagerald Vick and Cartier Diarra out indefinitely.
It has been a roller coaster ride of a season for this Baylor team with some outstanding wins and disappointing losses. But through injuries, upset losses, and sometimes a lack-luster arena, the hopes and expectations remain for Baylor fans the same way they did at the season’s start.