Even as the Lady Bears continue to prepare for their Final Four showdown with undefeated top seed Connecticut (Sunday, about 8:30 p.m. CT, ESPN), accolades continue to pour in for both the men’s and women’s basketball programs.
On the men’s side, junior forward Ekpe Udoh became just the fourth Baylor player ever named an Associated Press All-American, earning honorable mention recognition. Two days later, men’s basketball signee Perry Jones was selected to the 2010 Parade All-America third team; Jones joins graduating senior Tweety Carter as the only signees in program history to be named to the Parade, McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All-America teams.
Also of note, the Bears’ Elite Eight loss to Duke matched the highest rating of any NCAA tournament telecast (excluding the Final Four) since 2005. Nearly 14 million viewers watched the Bears and Blue Devils battle last Sunday, meaning the game drew more viewers than the 2010 Daytona 500 (13.3 million), Game 1 of the 2009 NBA Finals (13.0 million) and the 2010 Orange Bowl (10.8 million).
On the women’s side, freshman post Brittney Griner continues to rack up awards, as she earned AP All-America recognition (second team) and was also named National Freshman of the Year by the United States Basketball Writers Association. She and the Lady Bears leave for the Final Four today; if you’re joining them in San Antonio this weekend, there’s plenty of activities scheduled, from autograph sessions to a send-off from the team hotel (click here for a complete listing). And don’t forget to get your Final Four gear!
Sic ’em, Baylor basketball!