clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Shootaround: March Madness Is Coming

New, comments

Baylor basketball looks to close out the regular season on a high note before next week's Big 12 Tournament.

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Week In Review

Baylor 79 Iowa State 70
79
BAYLOR
(21-7, 9-6)
1ST 2ND F
40 39 79
37 33 70

Box ScoreNotesUSATSI Gallery

Ames, Iowa • Attendance: 14,384

70
IOWA STATE
(20-7, 10-5)

I have been one of Baylor basketball's bigger proponents this season but even I didn't think they were capable of winning at Hilton Coliseum. Shame on me. Baylor used a huge 25-8 run over the final 8 minutes to close out a 79-70 win over Iowa State, snapping the Cyclones' 21 game home winning streak. The Bears were buoyed by their outside shooting as they were 14-26 from behind the 3 point line, including 4 each from Lester Medford and Taurean Prince. In addition, the Baylor defense limited Iowa State to just 6-24 from 3 point land, an area that the Cyclones typically excel. It was an extremely well played game in the first half with Baylor holding a 40-37 lead at halftime. ISU made a big push out of the locker room and it appeared on a few different occasions that the Cyclones were about ready to put the Bears away for good. Scott Drew exhausted his last timeout with more than 8 minutes to go in the game just in an effort to keep Iowa State's runs to a minimum. Yet that's when Baylor made it's finishing kick, turning a 7 point deficit into a 6 point lead in an instant as the Bears hit 3 pointers on 5 consecutive possessions. The run completely befuddled the crowd in Ames and Iowa State never recovered as the Cyclones did not score from the field in the final 6:26. I would consider this the best road win of the Scott Drew era given both the hostile venue as well as the quality of the opponent. This also gave the Bears a season sweep of Iowa State, which could be critical to Baylor's Big 12 Tournament seeding. The big win set up a Saturday showdown at the Ferrell Center against the suddenly red hot West Virginia Mountaineers.

Baylor 78 West Virginia 66
66
W. VIRGINIA
(22-7, 10-6)
1ST 2ND F
29 37 66
45 33 78

Box ScoreQuotesNotesBaylor Photos
USATI Photos

Waco, Texas • Attendance: 9,385

78
BAYLOR
(22-7, 10-6)

The Bears backed up the win in Ames by controlling Saturday's game with West Virginia from start to finish as the Baylor knocked off the Mountaineers 78-66 in Waco. Baylor put together a nearly flawless offensive performance in the 1st half, shooting 65.4% from the field while committing just 4 turnovers against the vaunted West Virginia press. Seven different Baylor players scored in the half as the Bears went into the locker room with a commanding 45-29 lead after leading by as many as 19. WVU made a run out of halftime to get within striking distance but were only able to close the deficit to single digits one time in the 2nd half. The final 20 minutes were a bit muddled as the officials felt the need to call 26 fouls in the 2nd half. The Bears cooled off from the field down the stretch but never allowed the Mountaineers to establish real momentum in front of an awesome #EveryoneInBlack crowd at the Ferrell Center. Taurean Prince again led the team with 20 points but Royce O'Neale, Rico Gathers and Al Freeman all put together really nice games as well. For Gathers, his 17 points and 10 rebounds gave him his 15th double-double of the season which leads the Big 12. This was Baylor's 6th win this season over a ranked opponent, setting a new school record. This was also the first time that Baylor had ever defeated ranked opponents in consecutive games. Just for fun, BIG MAN WINDMILL SMASH.

Texas 61 Baylor 59 (OT)
59
BAYLOR
(22-8, 10-7)
1ST 2ND OT F
31 23 5 59
24 30 7 61

Box Score | Notes | Baylor Photos
USATSI Photos

Austin, Texas • Attendance: 12,139

61
TEXAS
(18-12, 7-10)

I'm not going to get too much into last night's game because our man PocketChange already did that but I do need to point out that John Heard was one of the players ejected for leaving the bench in that scuffle during overtime. You would think this would rank among the worst things that John Heard has ever been but here is the true list of the top 5 worst things that John Heard has ever done in his life:

  1. Reclined his seat back on an airplane (real talk: if you do this, you're seriously the worst)
  2. Downloaded Florida Georgia Line's latest album
  3. Pushed a kid off the monkey bars during recess in 2nd grade
  4. Made a C on a pop quiz in Christian Heritage during his freshman year
  5. Asked for an extra scoop of guacamole on his burrito at Chipotle

Looking Ahead

Texas Tech at Baylor
Ferrell Center (Waco, TX)
Mar. 6, 8:00 PM CT
ESPN2

Baylor closes the regular season on Friday night in the Ferrell Center against last place Texas Tech. This will be the final home game for Baylor's two seniors, Kenny Chery and Royce O'Neale. Friday is also the last day of school before Spring Break starts up but if you are a student and aren't immediately bailing out of Waco, stick around and go the game to show love for not only the seniors but the entire team for an outstanding regular season. This team has certainly exceeded expectations and created a lot of buzz on campus in what looked to be a rebuilding year after last season's Sweet 16 run. As for the game, Texas Tech has lost 13 consecutive true road games dating back to mid-February 2014. In the same timespan, Baylor is 19-2 at the Ferrell Center. Baylor is winning this game and I would be surprised if there was any intrigue in the latter part of the game.

Big 12 Update

Standings

With last night's results, Baylor is alone in 5th place in the Big 12 standings. West Virginia plays at Kansas tonight so the Bears will likely move back into a tie for 4th barring a major upset in Lawrence.

STANDINGS CONFERENCE OVERALL
Big 12 W-L GB PCT W-L PCT STRK
#9 Kansas 12-4 -- 0.750 23-6 0.793 W1
#17 Iowa State 11-6 1.5 0.647 21-8 0.724 W1
#15 Oklahoma 11-6 1.5 0.647 20-9 0.690 L1
#20 West Virginia 10-6 2 0.625 22-7 0.759 L1
#14 Baylor 10-7 2.5 0.588 22-8 0.733 L1
Kansas St 8-9 4.5 0.471 15-15 0.500 W2
Oklahoma St 7-9 5 0.438 17-11 0.607 L4
Texas 7-10 5.5 0.412 18-12 0.600 W1
TCU 4-12 8 0.250 17-12 0.586 L1
Texas Tech 3-14 9.5 0.176 13-17 0.433 W1


Big 12 Tournament

Baylor could still end up as high as the 2 seed if a few results play out this week. Here is how things would look if the tournament started today:

As for possible seeding scenarios, I'll let Baylor basketball SID David Kaye do the dirty work:

Bracketology

ESPN: 4 seed v. Harvard
CBS: 3 seed v. UC-Davis
NBC: 3 seed v. High Point
SB Nation: 4 seed v. Murray State

KenPom

Despite the loss last night, Baylor remains the top ranked Big 12 team according to KenPom.

Strength of Schedule NCSOS
Rank Team Conf W-L Pyth AdjO AdjD AdjT Luck Pyth OppO OppD Pyth
9 Baylor B12 22-8 0.9199 115.4 12 93.3 28 61.8 310 -0.027 244 0.7407 3 106.1 14 96.9 3 0.5143 166
11 Oklahoma B12 20-9 0.9156 109.7 46 89.1 7 68.1 35 -0.046 284 0.7369 5 107.1 4 98 12 0.5497 126
12 Kansas B12 23-6 0.9142 114.1 14 92.9 18 67.3 61 0.103 13 0.7887 1 107.1 5 95.5 1 0.7317 11
14 Iowa St. B12 21-8 0.8944 117.4 9 97.5 81 70.6 8 -0.01 209 0.7114 11 105.8 23 97.8 9 0.4706 217
21 Texas B12 18-12 0.8729 109.9 42 93 22 62.9 275 -0.069 317 0.7226 8 106 18 97.5 8 0.4757 213
24 West Virginia B12 22-7 0.8661 110.6 38 94 39 68.9 23 0.072 41 0.6955 18 105.5 33 98.2 13 0.4557 239
33 Oklahoma St. B12 17-11 0.8311 108.3 62 94.3 42 63.6 247 -0.031 254 0.7326 6 105.4 37 96.5 2 0.4846 201
51 TCU B12 17-12 0.7944 104.5 115 92.9 20 64.2 207 -0.073 321 0.5716 95 103.2 106 100.7 96 0.1862 351
79 Kansas St. B12 15-15 0.7073 103.8 134 96.1 63 62.5 290 0.026 126 0.7289 7 106 15 97.3 4 0.4977 184
163 Texas Tech B12 13-17 0.4997 98.5 246 98.5 103 62 302 0.002 175 0.6438 56 104.6 60 99.3 48 0.2681 346

AP Top 25

The Bears moved up all the way to #14 in this week's poll, their highest ranking of the season.

AP Top 25
RK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 Kentucky (65) 29-0 1,625
2 Virginia 27-1 1,547
3 Duke 26-3 1,501
4 Villanova 27-2 1,417
5 Arizona 26-3 1,338
6 Wisconsin 26-3 1,318
7 Gonzaga 29-2 1,244
8 Wichita St 27-3 1,104
9 Kansas 23-6 1,087
10 Maryland 24-5 1,035
11 Northern Iowa 27-3 908
12 Notre Dame 24-5 879
13 Utah 22-6 823
14 Baylor 22-7 801
15 Oklahoma 20-8 759
16 Louisville 23-6 728
17 Iowa State 20-8 536
18 Arkansas 23-6 515
19 North Carolina 20-9 435
20 West Virginia 22-7 389
21 Butler 21-8 359
22 SMU 23-6 210
23 Ohio State 21-8 114
24 Providence 20-9 91
25 Murray St 26-4 79