NCAA Tournament Scores 2012: Baylor's Win vs. Xavier Proves They're for Real

Amelia AhlgrenContributor IIIMarch 24, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 23:  Perry Jones III #1 and Quincy Acy #4 of the Baylor Bears celebrate during the second half of their 75 to 70 win over the Xavier Musketeers during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball South Regional Semifinal game at the Georgia Dome on March 23, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Baylor took to the court on Friday night to prove they are legitimate contenders for a national title in a win over Xavier.

The Bears came flying out of the gate, showcasing a ravenous desire to win. Baylor went on a 20-4 run that included four steals.

That start was huge for the Bears. It gave them control of the game, and even though Xavier kept inching within striking distance, Baylor still had the mental upper hand.

The Bears also demonstrated their shooting depth in the victory.

Brady Heslip's off night motivated capable forward Quincy Acy to step up. Acy produced a double-double against Xavier, notching 20 points and 15 rebounds in the Sweet 16 contest.

This pick-up-the-slack shooting ability will be key for the Bears going forward—their offense is equipped to handle even the staunchest of defenses.

All five of Baylor's starters are capable of having a night like Acy's. All averaged double digit points per game in the regular season and shot over 45 percent.

The Bears know how to get hot from behind the arc, too, burying 38.5 percent of threes, which puts them in the top-25 nationwide for three-point field goal percentage.

By cruising into the Elite Eight, the Bears have quieted doubts about their legitimacy, illustrating the skills that would propel them to beat a team like Kentucky.

If the Bears let Quincy Acy take over and use his size, he can push through Kentucky's D and get to the rim.

And if Perry Jones III and Quincy Miller can step up their game and and get to the line more often, they can get Anthony Davis into foul trouble again and pin Kentucky down for the win.