Last year this time, we were writing about the Baylor men’s basketball team reaching the NIT Final Four and the excitement of playing at Madison Square Garden. Fast forward 12 months, and the Bears are one game away from punching their tickets for the NCAA tournament’s Final Four.
Head coach Scott Drew’s squad rode a strong first half to a surprisingly easy 72-49 win Friday night over Saint Mary’s in the program’s first-ever Sweet 16 appearance. Now the Bears move on to their first Elite Eight appearance since 1950; Baylor will face the winner of Duke/Purdue three-time national champion Duke on Sunday at Houston’s Reliant Stadium. Game time has yet to be announced; check BaylorBears.com for details. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. CT on CBS.
In the meantime, enjoy these photos from BaylorBears.com. As you’ll see, the game drew quite a crowd — upwards of 45,000, including such famous Baylor alumni as Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd, Regent Emeritus Drayton McLane and prominent Houston lawyer John Eddie Williams, as well as new Baylor President Ken Starr.
Because we’re so excited, how about an extra Elite Eight bonus link? Take a minute to compare what you hopefully saw in person or on TV Friday with this video footage from the Bears’ last deep NCAA tournament run — 1948, when Baylor advanced to the NCAA finals. And don’t forget — the Lady Bears will look to move on to the Elite Eight themselves when they face Tennessee on Saturday (11 a.m. CT, ESPN).
Sic ’em, Baylor basketball!