Lady Bears earn No. 1 seed for 5th time in 7 years, again open in Waco
For the 5th time in 7 years, the Baylor Lady Bears are a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. And for the 6th time in those 7 years, head coach Kim Mulkey’s squad will begin its tournament run right here in Waco.
The seven-time defending Big 12 champs will host Texas Southern in the first round Saturday (5:30 p.m. CT, ESPN2). The winner of that game will face either LSU or Cal on Monday.
Texas Southern won both the SWAC regular season and tournament titles en route to a 23-9 overall record. The Lady Tigers are led by sophomore guard Joyce Kennerson, a first-team all-conference selection and the SWAC tournament MVP, who is tied for the SWAC lead in scoring at 18.3 points per game. TSU ranks 28th nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 57.0 points per game — but they’ll have their work cut out against the Lady Bears, who rank 2nd nationally in scoring offense at 88.6 points per game (and 22nd nationally in defense at 56.1 ppg).
Baylor enters the NCAA tournament with a 30-3 record, ranked No. 5 nationally and riding a 176-game home winning streak against unranked opponents. The Lady Bears are making their 14th straight NCAA tournament appearance; included in that run are three Final Fours (2005, 2010, 2012) and two national championships (2005 and 2012).
This year’s team is led by senior guard Alexis Jones, a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award (honoring the nation’s top guard) who has averaged 13.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. Jones has missed the Lady Bears’ last five games after suffering a knee injury against Texas, but is expected to return this weekend. Jones was one of five Baylor players to earn All-Big 12 honors; she and sophomore post Kalani Brown earned unanimous first-team honors, while seniors Nina Davis and Alexis Prince were named to the second team, and freshman Lauren Cox earned the Sixth Man Award and was a unanimous all-freshman selection.
Get your tickets now, and we’ll see you at the Ferrell Center!
Sic ’em, Lady Bears!