Semifinal Update + Baylor Impact
Here are a couple of quick notes from yesterday's semifinal games + what a potential win by Baylor would mean.
Baylor vs. Texas
The Baylor Bears kept their miracle run alive by taking down the UT Longhorns yesterday by a final score of 76-70. The Bears were down 33-39 at the break but came out and took it right at Rick Barnes' team and outpaced them 43-31 in the second half. The game was pretty tight up until about the 2:00 mark when Baylor started to put the game away.
Baylor beat UT for only the first time in their last 25 games and the win puts the #9 seeded team in a position to win the tournament for the first time ever. On a sidenote - Baylor has won 3 games in 3 days; it took them their 13 previous games to win 3 as they finished the conference slate going 3-10 over those last 13 games.
Baylor was led by Kevin Rogers 20 points while Henry Dugat added 17 off the bench. A.J. Abrams led the Longhorns with 20 points.
Missouri vs. Oklahoma State
The Tigers and Cowboys put on a horrible display shooting the basketball last night as both teams combined to go 10-for-55 from behind the three point arc. In the end, Missouri was able to put away the Pokes by a final score of 67-59 to advance to today's final game vs. Baylor.
OSU was slowed down in the first half by Byron Eaton's ankle injury (he did return after halftime) and James Anderson's foul trouble in the 2nd half. Missouri, who also did not play well, at all, was able to make a few shots down the stretch and put the game on ice.
OSU was led by James Anderson's 20 points and 9 rebounds. Missouri was led by Zaire Taylor who scored 19.
Easily the question I was asked more than anything since Baylor's stunning win over Texas was "If Baylor wins, do they take the Aggies' spot?" The answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT. The Big 12 does not have a finite number of spots and they are a lock to get at least 6 teams in (Kansas, OU, Missouri, Texas, OSU, Texas A&M). If Baylor upsets Missouri tonight, Baylor will take a spot from one of those "last 4 in" type of teams. It's not as if the committee will take the Aggies and drop them past 8 or 9 less deserving teams in favor of Baylor's automatic-bid status. They will take one of the final teams to squeak in (Maryland, Creighton, St. Mary's, San Diego State) and pull them back out and put Baylor into their place. It would be wild if Baylor pulls the upset and the league does end up getting 7 teams in.
OK - That's it for now. The Bears and Tigers play in the championship game today at 5:00 from the Ford Center. The game will be broadcast on ESPN and I'm sure if you wanted to go, you could walk up to the arena and pay $5 to sit anywhere you wanted.
Carry on .