They rose to the top of a cutthroat conference. Now they’re gunning for the rest of the NCAA.
Who? The Lady Bears of Baylor.
When do they play in the first round? The Lady Bears will play Northwestern State on Friday, March 20 at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Where? Waco, Texas, where you learn that the noun for things related to Texas is Texana.
Why? They won the Big XII conference tournament.
How? Nina Davis had 16 points and 11 rebounds to lead four Lady Bears in double figures, and Baylor claimed another tournament crown with a 75-64 win over Texas.
Surprise? Predicted to finish second in the conference by a slim margin, they ended up in first, three games ahead of Oklahoma.
Record: 30-3 (16-2 Big XII)
Good wins: Syracuse at Winter Park. I think Baylor expected this to be a stronger out-of-conference schedule than it was; Marist and Michigan State, among others, have disappointed.
Bad losses: At Oklahoma and at Iowa State aren’t bad, per se, but perhaps foreboding.
Who’s running this show? Kim Mulkey, since 2000. Famous, or perhaps infamous, for her sartorial choices.
Sophomore Nina Davis leads the way for Baylor, with 21.2 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. I’m impressed at how her fouls have been managed- only 1.7 per game, which means she can be on the floor when her team needs her. Sophomore forward Khadijah Cave, the Big XII’s top sixth woman, is second on the team in scoring at 10.0 per game. Junior guard Niya Johnson knows how to get the ball to her teammates, at almost nine assists per game and an A/TO of 3.6/1.