Lady Bears sweep Big 12 titles for 8th time in 9 years
Winning a conference title is hard. Sweeping both the regular season and conference tournament titles in the same year? Even more impressive. But doing it eight times in nine years — well, that’s almost unfathomable.
But that’s exactly what Baylor women’s basketball has accomplished, following last night’s 67-49 win over Iowa State. A tight game for most of the night — the Lady Bears led by just four at the end of the third quarter — became an easy win in the end, as Baylor outscored the Cyclones 19-5 in the final 10 minutes to coast to the championship.
Since the Big 12 Conference’s start in 1996, no team in any sport has put together as sustained a run of dominance over the league, in both the regular season and conference tournament, as the Lady Bears. The only teams that have even come close:
- Baylor men’s tennis swept both titles 7 out of 8 years between 2002-09.
- Texas women’s tennis won both championships 6 times in 6 years from 1997-2002.
- Baylor women’s tennis matched UT, claiming six straight sweeps between 2006-11.
A couple more notably dominant teams, for reference… Even in Kansas men’s basketball’s record run of consecutive regular season titles (2005-18), the Jayhawks “only” won the conference tournament 8 times in 14 years. And outside the Big 12, even vaunted UConn has never swept their conference’s regular season and tournament titles more than six years in a row.
Last night’s win gave head coach Kim Mulkey’s squad its 10th Big 12 tournament title all-time, matching the program’s 10 regular season championships. Combined, the Lady Bears have claimed 20 of the 46 trophies the Big 12 has ever handed out for women’s basketball.
Next up for the Lady Bears? According to most experts, the No. 1 overall seed in this year’s NCAA tournament and another chance to host the first two rounds right here in Waco (which would be the 8th time in 9 years). We’ll find out when this year’s bracket is announced on Monday, March 18, at 6 p.m. on ESPN.
Sic ’em, Lady Bears!