The Baylor Bears have quietly become one of the better programs in the country. While they might have officially become the best hoops program in the state of Texas, I am sure Baylor was hoping for a much better 2012-13 campaign. The Bears only have 16 wins with a mere five games left to play this season. This has put them so far on the wrong side of the bubble that a late season surge is much needed.
Later today, Baylor faces an Oklahoma Sooners team that finds themselves in a much similar situation. Now, while the Sooners don’t need an epic run to the degree Baylor does, losing today would be a bad way to start a final run towards the NCAA Tournament. The Selection Committee has been known to be big fans of teams that finish strong, and have an equal dislike for teams faltering at the end.
Baylor’s last five games aren’t easy. Two nationally-ranked teams are still on the docket, while the Sooners are no pushovers.
Every game left on their schedule is a must-win, as Baylor has hit the “Run or done” portion of their season.
It is really simple for the Bears the rest of the season. If they want to continue their journey as one of the best programs in the country, they need to win, and make the NCAA Tournament. That’s not to say they aren’t allowed to miss it one season, regroup, and come back the next; but, in what is supposed to be a down year anyway, an appearance in the tourney can quickly propel their program as one of the premier places to play in the country.
The NCAA Tournament provides plenty of national exposure. Exposure is the only thing that Baylor lacks for their program. While Baylor doesn’t need to make the dance, it would be the quickest way possible to achieve college basketball domination.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Joe on Twitter @JosephNardone