• Women’s 12th straight Big 12 title (!!!!) caps impressive 72-hour stretch for Baylor hoops

    Baylor women's basketball team poses with the Big 12 trophy

    The calendar says March just began today — but March Madness clearly began early for Baylor.

    In less than 72 hours — Saturday through Monday — Baylor’s basketball programs:

    • Hosted ESPN’s College GameDay;
    • Defeated Kansas (women);
    • Beat No. 5 Kansas (men);
    • Beat No. 9 Iowa State by 25 on the road (women);
    • Beat No. 20 Texas in Austin (men); and
    • Won a 12th-straight Big 12 title (women).

    If it feels like all that happened really fast — well, it did. Let’s take a minute to enjoy it all again:

    It all began Saturday morning, as Baylor hosted ESPN’s College GameDay live from the Ferrell Center. This marked the sixth time the show has visited Waco — three times for football (2014, 2015 & 2019), and three times for basketball (2011, 2020 & 2022). Hundreds of Baylor students camped out overnight in the Ferrell Center to get the best seats for the show, and the resulting crowd looked great on national television.

    Saturday afternoon, national player of the year candidate NaLyssa Smith (33 points, 16 rebounds) led the Baylor women past Kansas, 85-77, in the first game of a doubleheader. That night, the Baylor men looked like they might be in trouble when they fell behind 28-15 late in the first half — but, boosted by a Ferrell Center-record crowed (10,628), the Bears found another gear and stormed past No. 5 Kansas, 80-70, to move within a half-game of the Jayhawks for first in the Big 12.

    Fast forward to Monday night, when the No. 5-ranked Baylor women squared off against No. 9 Iowa State in Ames. The two teams began the night tied for first in the Big 12 — but head coach Nicki Collen’s squad proved who deserved the trophy, blowing out the Cyclones, 87-62, to clinch the program’s 12th straight Big 12 regular season title.

    While the women celebrated in Iowa, the men faced No. 20 Texas in Austin. Continuing to play short-handed due to a rash of injuries, head coach Scott Drew’s Bears completed their season sweep of the Longhorns, 68-61 — Baylor’s 12th win over UT in their last 13 meetings, including 6 of the last 7 in Austin. The win moves Baylor into a virtual tie for first with Kansas with one week to go.

    Next up for these teams: The Baylor men will host Iowa State (Saturday, 5 p.m.) in their regular season finale, while the women close out their season Sunday at 2 p.m., celebrating their Big 12 championship and their seniors as they host Texas Tech. Then it’s off to Kansas City for the Big 12 tournaments — and two more chances for trophies.

    Sic ’em, Baylor basketball!