On February 8, Baylor lost to OU in Norman and dropped to 2-8 in Big 12 play. A stretch of 7 wins in 8 games, including the only road win by a Big 12 team in the state of Kansas this season, later, the Bears finished 9-9 and ready for Tournament season. By almost any measure, considering where we were and where we eventually finished, this has to be considered one of the great turnarounds in conference history. This team was dead exactly one month ago. Now it will play in the NCAA Tournament with a relatively high seed (most likely).
I'm going to be honest: I saw very little of the second half. We had things going on around the house, so I was in and out, and when the game started to turn, my limited superstitition got the best of me. From watching the GameTracker on my computer and reaction on twitter, Kenny Chery was huge again. Cory Jefferson, despite missing 5 of 8 from the FT line, was also big with 16 points of his own. That Baylor won a road game to a team that never loses at home despite being outrebounded and hitting just 1/3 of their 3s is fairly amazing.
Because I saw so little of it, I won't waste your time talking about it. Hopefully those who saw more can share their thoughts in the comments. This is obviously a huge win for Baylor Basketball if only for the symbolic nature of getting back to .500 in the best conference in college basketball, and it also means the difference between the likely #8 seed and now either the 6 (which would come with a bye to the Quarterfinals) or the 7 depending on the outcome of the ISU-OSU game.
From the twitterverse:
Baylor just won for seventh time in eight games and handed K State its first home Big 12 loss. Oh, right, I forgot. Scott Drew can't coach.— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) March 8, 2014
A lot of Baylor haters better start eating crow on this team. Started 2-8 in conference, now 9-9 and peaking— BaylorScout Tim (@TimWatkins04) March 8, 2014
Gotta think that win catapults Baylor to a No. 7 seed. Bears have road wins at WVU, KSU and OSU (with Smart - and w/o Chery).— Jason King (@JasonKingBR) March 8, 2014
I believe he's talking about the NCAA Tournament with that seeding, just so you know.
If Baylor wasn't absolutely in the NCAA field after beating Iowa State, should be no doubt after winning at Kansas State 76-74.— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) March 8, 2014
Huge game for Baylor PG Kenny Chery, who had battled painful turf toe injury: 29 points, six rebounds, six assists.— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) March 8, 2014
BU's Gary Franklin just made a heroic play to cancel out an enormous gaffe. Huge win in Manhattan. Bears finish 9-9 in conf after 2-8 start.— Matt Mosley (@mattmosley) March 8, 2014
Like I said, just a few favorites. Congrats, Bears!