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2013 NIT Championship: #2 Baylor obliterates #7 Long Beach State

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After as dominant a win as we've seen over anyone not named Hardin-Simmons, the Baylor Bears await the winner of the 3/6 matchup in our region, Arizona State vs. Detroit.

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What you saw tonight is this team finally playing at the absolute peak of its potential against a team that just couldn't handle them. Baylor used scorching-hot shooting in the first half to build a huge lead and then never looked back, allowing only one very small run at the start of the second half before putting the game away, eventually winning by 46. Brady Heslip turned in his best performance of the season, reaching into his bag of tricks and pulling out another 2012 Colorado game on the 49ers by hitting his first 6 three-pointers and then adding 2 more before being pulled. He led all scorers with 26 points in the game.

With Arizona State doing something similar to Detroit, it looks like we'll be welcoming the Sun Devils to Baylor on Friday for the next round's game. Should we win that, we can look forward to another home game next Wednesday (I think) against the winner of the Providence-Robert Morris game.

For the record, this was exactly the type of situation I was talking about tonight that makes coming to the NIT worth it. Rico Gathers played most of the game until Baylor built such a huge lead that we took him out, too. L.J. Rose, who we're going to need to progress quickly before 2014, played significant minutes in the second half along with Taurean Prince and Deuce Bello. Tonight was basically a best-case scenario for NIT play.

Plus we're going to be on Sportscenter tonight after winning by 46 and didn't just lose to Houston in the CBI. Definitely no downside there.

The box...

Baylor Bears
STARTERS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OFF REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Brady Heslip, G 8-11 8-11 2-3 0 3 2 1 0 1 1 26
Cory Jefferson, F 6-9 0-1 3-3 2 7 0 0 2 2 4 15
Isaiah Austin, C 4-7 1-1 4-7 0 6 3 1 2 1 0 13
Gary Franklin, G 3-4 3-4 2-2 0 1 5 0 0 1 2 11
A.J. Walton, G 1-5 0-1 0-0 2 2 9 1 0 2 2 2
BENCH FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OFF REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Taurean Prince, F 6-8 1-1 1-1 2 6 0 0 0 1 1 14
Pierre Jackson, G 4-6 3-3 0-0 0 3 6 1 0 0 2 11
Deuce Bello, G 4-5 0-1 2-5 0 1 0 0 0 2 2 10
Rico Gathers, F 3-7 0-0 2-4 2 9 0 0 0 2 3 8
Logan Lowery, F 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2
Jacob Neubert, F 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0
L.J. Rose, G 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 1 4 2 0 2 0 0
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OFF REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
40-66 16-23 16-25 11 41 30 6 4 14 18 112
60.6% 69.6% 64.0%

UPDATE: The next round is set, both date and opponent.