With March Madness right around the corner, it’s time to take a look at Baylor’s bracket possibilities in this year’s NCAA Tournament (as well as what needs to be done come Big 12 Tourney time as the regular season comes to a close).
Baylor Bears head coach Scott Drew recently reached 100 wins at the helm of the men’s basketball program, as he has successfully taken a program from the ashes to the top-25.
In addition, Drew and his remarkable staff have proven a much-needed consistency in the Baylor basketball program with three-straight 20-win seasons.
The Bears have picked up some major wins this season, including big wins over intra-state rivals Texas and Texas A&M (with the latest victory coming Wednesday evening in a 70-66 ‘W’ over the Aggies at the Ferrell Center).
Also, with a major Baylor win in Norman, Oklahoma against the Sooners on Saturday afternoon, the Bears improved to 9-5 in conference play (tying coach Drew’s best Big 12 record in Waco) with two games remaining (on the road against Texas Tech on Tuesday and at home against Texas on Saturday).
Come Big 12 Tourney time, Baylor’s consistency must remain intact if they hope to garner key wins and advance in a bracket boasting the nation’s best and most elite conference in college basketball.
Without further adieu, here are five ways the Baylor Bears can win the Big 12 Tournament and advance in March’s NCAA Madness…
Out-rebounding opponents is a near-necessity if the Baylor Bears hope to attain wins in the conference tourney and the NCAA Tournament.
Big names for the Bears in this department include Josh Lomers, Ekpe Udoh, Quincy Acy, Anthony Jones, and (yes, maybe surprisingly) LaceDarius Dunn.
Defensive intensity is also a key ingredient to the Bears’ advancing in March. This includes blocking, taking charges, and boxing out under the glass.
The five names mentioned in regard to rebounding (Lomers, Udoh, Acy, Jones, Dunn) will also play vital roles in blocking and defense as well, but the biggest names to pay attention to in regards to blocks is the duo of Udoh and Acy.
Obviously, Baylor must focus on keeping their turnovers to a minimum if they hope to win come tourney time.
Starting guard and senior leader Tweety Carter will be key in this department, and as long as he and fellow-guard Dunn can have a high assist-to-turnover ratio, the Bears should be in good shape come tourney time.
Baylor’s bench production will be also vital if the Bears hope to advance in this year’s conference tournament and post-season NCAA Tournament.
That means guys like Acy, Fred Ellis, and A.J. Walton stepping up in times of need to provide a spark off the bench for coach Drew and the green and gold team.
Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at email@example.com
This is an area where the Bears struggled early in the season, but they seem to be getting better every game from the charity stripe.
Not only has Baylor improved from the line as the season has progressed, but the Bears have also learned to hit the clutch free throws, which will be vital come March’s madness.
Plus, when Baylor can lean on the experience they have garnered this season (such as their 40-percent free throw shooter draining the needed shots from the charity stripe to win the game), there’s a good chance they will come out on top after a ridiculously brutal conference schedule.