The Baylor Bears were a game away from tying a Ferrell Center record for most consecutive wins until they lost to the Oklahoma Sooners on Jan. 18. Going into their contest with the Kansas Jayhawks, the Bears had dropped three-consecutive games at home. Saturday the Bears notched a marquee win on the road against Oklahoma State that had potential to give the Bears a puncher’s chance of making the NCAA Tournament. After a 69-52 loss to the Jayhawks, the Baylor Bears may be on the outside looking in on Selection Sunday.
Despite Baylor’s recent struggles, it should not be a shock that Kansas was able to have their way with the Bears at home. Kansas has won nine of their last 11 trips to Waco. Defensively, Baylor showed up to play, holding the Jayhawks to 46.3 percent from the floor. The Bears shut down Joel Embiid until garbage time. Holding Kansas under 70 points is generally good enough to be competive.
Unfortunately for the Bears, they were horrendous on the offensive side of the court. The shots were not falling for the Bears, who shot 29.1 percent from the field. Baylor was 6-of-20 from the three-point line. Four of the six three-pointers were made in the first half by sharp shooter Brady Heslip. He was held scoreless in the second half.
With 14 three-point misses, it was only a matter of time before Andrew Wiggins would get his opportunities to score in transition. Wiggins would score 14 points in the second half. Baylor had no answer for Naadir Tharpe, who led all scorers with 22 points. The Jayhawks are sitting pretty in the Big 12 Conference with an 8-1 record midway through league play. It is a completely different scenario for the Bears. At 2-7, the defending NIT Champions look like they will be headed back the NIT, if they’re lucky.