• Baylor men’s & women’s basketball programs roll into March Madness

    Photos of Baylor men's and women's basketball celebrating on the court

    For the ninth time in the last 10 postseasons, both the Baylor men’s and women’s basketball teams are going dancing!

    The Baylor men will start their NCAA tournament run Friday in Memphis (11:40 a.m., TruTV) against back-to-back-to-back-to-back Patriot League champion Colgate. The Bears finished the regular season ranked No. 14 in the AP poll (and were named the No. 9 overall national seed in this year’s tournament). Head coach Scott Drew’s squad has gone 23-10 overall, 11-7 in Big 12 play, good for a third-place finish in the nation’s toughest conference. Led by All-Big 12 honorees Jalen Bridges, RayJ Dennis, Langston Love, Yves Missi and Ja’Kobe Walter (who was Baylor’s third-straight Big 12 Freshman of the Year), the Bears enter the tournament as a top-three seed for the fourth straight year — the only team in the country that can make that claim.

    Baylor will face a red-hot Colgate team that has won 17 of their last 18 games, including the Patriot League regular season and conference titles. The Raiders are led by Patriot League Player of the Year Braeden Smith, a sophomore guard who’s averaging 12.5 points, 5.8 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game. The winner of the Bears-Raiders game will face either Clemson or New Mexico on Sunday for a berth in the Sweet 16.

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    The Baylor women will begin NCAA tournament play — their 20th straight appearance! — on Friday in Blacksburg, Va. (5 p.m. CT, ESPNU), versus the winner of a First Four game between Vanderbilt and Columbia. Head coach Nicki Collen’s squad finished the regular season at No. 19 in the AP poll, thanks to a 24-7 overall record (12-6 in Big 12 play, tied for fourth in the league) and a closing streak that saw the Bears win six of their last seven games. Baylor is led by All-Big 12 honorees Sarah Andrews, Aijha Blackwell, Dre’Una Edwards and Darianna Littlepage-Buggs, who together extended Baylor’s streak of NCAA appearances — the fourth-longest active streak in the country behind Tennessee (42), Stanford (36) and UConn (35).

    The Bears will face either Vanderbilt (an at-large bid from the SEC) or Columbia (the Ivy League’s regular season champion); those two teams square off on Wednesday for the right to face Baylor. If the Bears win their first-round match-up, they will face either Virginia Tech or Marshall on Sunday for a spot in the Sweet 16.

    Sic ’em, Baylor men’s & women’s basketball!