The Baylor Bears are officially out of the NCAA Tournament picture barring some Big 12 Conference Tournament miracles. For Baylor though, they have to decide how they want to end their season despite the disappointment. They can even crawl under a desk and stick their head between their legs or continue to battle it out, earning a spot in the NIT or CBI postseason Tournaments.
Obviously the NIT is the better of the two postseason tournaments. However, Baylor just needs to focus on winning — as they will likely be invited to one or the other regardless of how they finish. While neither will help bolster their program shine as much as another birth in the NCAA Tournament, it will help gain experience for the underclassmen and keep them in the national spotlight, albeit a very small spotlight.
Baylor is going to lose three seniors after the season to graduation, but will still return four more players who are key members of the team’s rotation. Coach Scott Drew could continue to instill his system to the young players while giving his seniors a proper swansong. Not to mention that a trip to New York, even if it is in a lesser tournament, can help Drew get his face and name into a different recruiting pool than he is accustomed.
When the Bears gave themselves some lemons, plenty of Baylor fans were disappointed, but now Drew has to start making some delicious lemonade. Drew still has a chance to keep making Baylor into a perennial-power program and improving the players he has for an even longer stretch of time.
Baylor fans, I know the NIT or the CBI isn’t the NCAA Tournament, but it could be worse — you could be Texas Longhorns Fans.
Joe is a Senior Writer For Rant Sports. Follow Joe on Twitter @JosephNardone