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Baylor Headed to NCAA Tournament after Loss to Kansas in Big 12 Tournament

The Jayhawks put up a big run after halftime and then weathered a late Baylor storm to sweep the Bears 3-0 on the season and end their Big 12 Tournament run. Baylor will now look for redemption in the NCAA Tournament.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Well, we certainly didn't see the best of the Bears tonight (until it was really, really late!) in a 70-66 loss to Kansas, but in making the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament, Baylor likely secured a Top-6 seed somewhere when things are announced on Sunday afternoon.  They also showed the same resiliency we've seen all season in eventually forcing KU to bring their starters back in for the last few possessions after cutting the KU lead to 3 in the final minute.

After going into halftime leading by 2, Baylor fell way behind in the second half, ultimately trailing by 16 with a few minutes to go.  The Jayhawks' second half destruction of the Bears was punctuated by a vicious Wayne Selden III dunk over Ishmail Wainright that not only cost Ish his pride, but also fouled him out of the game.  It looked to me like it might have been a charge on Selden (not to mention a forbidden move in the Under-18 All-Valley Karate Tournament), but what do I know?

The story of the game is Baylor's abject disaster of an offense for most of the second half.  When KU was making its run, Taurean Prince and Lester Medford were nowhere to be found, and the Bears missed shot after shot.  Perry Ellis, on the other hand, had 8 in a row right after halftime to help KU build its lead, and once they got up, the Jayhawks didn't look back until Baylor cut the lead to 4, then 3, in the final minute. At that point, Baylor's 11 (!!) missed free throws loomed extremely large.

With the focus changing now to the NCAA Tournament, Baylor should feel pretty good about a #6 seed considering our record and the strength of our conference.  That's where ESPN's latest Bracketology has us, although SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean gives us a #5.  Considering the inevitability of a 12-5 upset basically every year, I think I'd actually rather have the 6, if I get to choose.  The only problem there is that you're probably set up for a date with a 1-seed in the Sweet Sixteen.

Stay tuned for more coverage this weekend of the NCAA Tournament, including a projections post that I'm planning for tomorrow that will try to collect every Bracketology-type post I can find.