Hoops update: Men reach NIT Final Four, Women in NCAA Sweet 16
And Baylor basketball keeps on rolling… The Lady Bears snuck past South Dakota State 60-58 Tuesday night to advance to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 for the fourth time in six years, while the Baylor men defeated Auburn 74-72 to reach the NIT Final Four for the first time in program history.
Head coach Kim Mulkey was back on the bench Tuesday night after missing the Lady Bears’ first-round win. Like that game, the second-round match-up was a close one; Tuesday, Kelli Griffin hit a floater with 0.5 seconds to go for the victory. The Lady Bears will now face Louisville Saturday at 11 a.m. CT on ESPN. [Bonus link: Don't miss this moving story from ESPN.com about how the Lady Bears have helped junior Morghan Medlock through an unimaginable tragedy this season. Have Kleenex available.]
Head coach Scott Drew’s men, meanwhile, will head to Madison Square Garden in New York City for the first time since playing in the 1950 NCAA Final Four. The Bears will face San Diego State in the NIT semifinals Tuesday at 6 p.m. on ESPN2. [Bonus link: You'll want to enjoy this video of Curtis Jerrells' slick behind-the-back pass to Kevin Rogers that was No. 6 on SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays Tuesday night (hat tip to FCP for the link).]
And those might not have even been the biggest wins of the week for Baylor. The No. 10-ranked men’s tennis team upset No. 4 Stanford Tuesday in Waco, 4-3, to retain hold of the HP Cup. (The series between Baylor and Stanford is sponsored by Hewlett-Packard, since the Cardinal and HP share a hometown while HP CEO Mark Hurd is a Baylor alumnus.) The Bears are now 9-0 all-time against Stanford, with all nine wins coming in the past 11 years. Stanford is one of the top handful of programs in U.S. collegiate men’s tennis; the 9-0 mark is akin to saying that Baylor men’s basketball had never lost to Duke, or the Lady Bears had never fallen to UConn. Tuesday’s match will be replayed several times over the next week on Fox College Sports.
Sic ’em, Baylor athletics!