The Baylor Bears were a college basketball team that was considered a lock for the 2014 NCAA tournament, starting Big 12 play ranked in the top 10 with wins over the then No. 3 Kentucky Wildcats, the Colorado Buffaloes and Dayton Flyers. However, the Bears lost eight of their first 10 games in Big 12 play and found themselves on the tournament bubble, needing a few big wins to even stand a chance of making it to the Big Dance.
That all changed when Baylor defeated the Iowa State Cyclones at home in their next to last game in Big 12 regular season play. Cory Jefferson scored 21 points, Brady Heslip went 5-of-8 from three, and Kenny Chery chipped in with 16 points off of the bench. Baylor may have been a little lucky because Iowa State star Melvin Ejim went 3-of-14 from the field, but their defense prevailed as the Bears won 74–61.
Baylor should consider themselves locks for the 2014 NCAA tournament. 20 wins tends to be a magic number for the NCAA selection committee, and the Bears now have 20 wins with multiple marquee wins against teams like Kentucky, the Oklahoma State Cowboys and now Iowa State. Even if they lose their final game away against the Kansas State Wildcats, they should still have the resume needed to get into March Madness.
Don’t sleep on the Bears in the 2014 NCAA tournament. Baylor may be a team that is getting hot again at the perfect time and they have proven with their big wins over top college basketball teams that the Bears could be an underrated team that sneaks into the Elite Eight and even the Final Four.