This weekend Baylor will be playing in the Final 4 for the first time in over 70 years. It will be a tough task, but the Bears have a chance to bring home a national championship. Let’s look back at some of the moments of the NCAA tournament that led Scott Drew’s team to this opportunity.
MVP: Davion Mitchell - I don’t think there is any argument about this one. Believe it or not he has yet to lead the team in scoring in any of the previous four tournament games, but fans have seen how valuable he is. We don’t win without his defensive performance against Villanova. And everybody witnessed the struggles when he was out with foul trouble against Arkansas. Offensively, at times it looks like he may as well be playing against a high school has-been at the SLC. During critical moments this tournament, the ball has been in his hands and for good reason. * Quick shoutout to Adam Flagler, however. He’s a close 2nd on the MVP category.
Most Exciting Play: I’m gonna go with Matthew Mayer’s and Macio Teague’s teamwork against Arkansas. At the 4:15 mark in the first half against Arkansas, Mayer may have made the best defensive play of his Baylor career when he seemingly came from nowhere to steal the ball on the sideline. He didn’t stop there either. Mayer quickly flung the ball down the court where Teague chased it down and scored. Teague put his speed into another gear. It was fun to watch.
Best Single Game Performance: I think Macio Teague’s 22 points & 5 rebounds against Arkansas is the best peformance, not just because he led the team in scoring in a big game, but also because he was clutch. The game was still in doubt when he knocked down two 3’s back-to-back.
Best Dunk: This goes to Mark Vital. With under three minutes to go in the ballgame he followed up a miss with a one-handed slam. It was the proverbial exclamation point. Again, I need to give a speical shoutout to Jared Butler’s dunk against Wisconsin. He went coast to coast and nobody cut him. He ended the sequence with a two-handed dunk—something that has been more common from him this season.
No matter what happens this upcoming weekend, it’s been a fun tournament. The team has played well and the games have been enterttaining to watch.