Historic season ends as Bears reach Elite Eight for 2nd time in 3 years
A historic season for the Baylor men’s basketball program came to an end Sunday as the Bears lost to No. 1 overall seed Kentucky, 82-70, in the NCAA tournament’s Elite Eight. While the loss still stings, consider all that head coach Scott Drew’s team accomplished this year:
- A program-record 30 wins.
- Baylor’s second Elite Eight appearance in three years (one of just five schools that can make that claim).
- 15 weeks spent ranked in the top 10 nationally.
- Ranked as high as No. 3 nationally, and finished the regular season at No. 9 in the AP poll (both program records).
- Multiple AP All-Americans for the first time since 1988 (Pierre Jackson and Perry Jones).
- A team-record for GPA.
The Bears were the last Texas team left standing in the tournament — which didn’t exactly come as a surprise, considering Baylor swept Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech in the regular season (finishing a combined 10-0 against Lone Star state squads). Baylor was also the only school in the country to win its bowl game and see both its men and women reach the Sweet 16.
[LINKS: Highlights, postgame interviews and photos from Sweet 16 win over Xavier || Highlights, postgame interviews and photos from the loss to UK || Video: Who had the better dunk, Acy or Griner? || Photos of fans greeting the Bears late Sunday night upon their return to Waco]
Quincy Acy (pictured), Fred Ellis and Anthony Jones leave the program as the winningest senior class in program history, totaling exactly 100 victories in their four years. (That this is the fourth straight year that record has been broken shows how the program continues to improve.) Those seniors will no doubt be missed, but Baylor fans have plenty to look forward to as the Bears have yet another top-10 signing class inked for next year.
Sic ’em, Baylor basketball!
[Don’t forget — the No. 1-ranked Lady Bears have their own Elite Eight showdown tonight, facing Tennessee in what could be legendary head coach Pat Summit’s final game. The Lady Bears beat the Lady Vols 76-67 in Knoxville back in November, but will have to do it again to reach the Final Four. Watch on ESPN tonight at 6 p.m. CT.]