It was clearly going to be a matchup of interest when the No. 6 seed Baylor Bears and the No. 3 seed Creighton Bluejays both advanced into the west region third round to play one another in the NCAA tournament.
Well, Baylor did not make it very interesting once the ball was tipped as the Bears dominated early and won going away, 85-55, Sunday to advance to the Sweet 16. Baylor’s size inside was way too much for Creighton to handle early and the zone defense — which would seem to benefit Creighton — confused coach Greg McDermott‘s players. Creighton’s star scorer, Doug McDermott, did not hit his first shot until the 3:07 mark in the first half and seemed completely out-of-sorts. He finished with 15 points on 7-of-14 shooting.
While Creighton was trying to figure out the zone, the Bears were having no problem beating the Bluejays’ defense. The Bears were battled tested all season in the rugged Big 12 and now look like a better team because of it. The Bears scored with ease in the first-half shot 14-of-22 (63.6 percent) from the field and had 11 assists. Seven players scored in the first 20 minutes. Brady Heslip and Isaiah Austin both finished with a game-high 17 points. The team finished shooting 30-of-47 (63.8 percent) from the field.
Baylor held course in the second half, but it was obviously the first-half effort that ripped the heart out of Creighton and took the Bluejays completely out of the game.
Baylor will now attempt to take down a more conventional offensive and defensive team in the No. 2 seed Wisconsin Badgers in the Sweet 16. Both teams like to take advantage of being physical and it is likely a late three-pointer or offensive rebound will be the difference.
Coach Scott Drew‘s Bears showed off their entire arsenal against Creighton and Wisconsin will have a lot to deal with in the next round.