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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Win gives Baylor hope for NCAA Tournament berth

Baylors Cory Jefferson (34) fires in a shot over Jeff Withey (5) in KU's 81-58 loss to the Baylor Bears Saturday in Waco.

Baylors Cory Jefferson (34) fires in a shot over Jeff Withey (5) in KU's 81-58 loss to the Baylor Bears Saturday in Waco.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after loss to Baylor

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after his team's 81-58 loss to Baylor on March 9, 2013.

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Box score

KU-BU

— This is what transpired on the Ferrell Center court in the minutes before and after Kansas officially became co-champions of the Big 12 Saturday, when it lost to Baylor, 81-58.

Baylor senior guard A.J. Walton dropped on his back onto the floor and then kissed the giant BU. Pierre Jackson then kissed the floor and they both checked out.

After the final buzzer sounded, students lined up at the corners of the floor, as instructed by security personnel. Baylor coach Scott Drew, holding a microphone, beckoned the students onto the floor for a less-than-spontaneous, ahem, "storming" of the court.

The lopsided victory injected badly needed life into Baylor’s tournament hopes. The Bears (18-13 overall, 9-9 in the Big 12) had lost five of their last six games heading into the regular-season finale.

Baylor appeared so big, fast and skilled Saturday it begged the question of how such a talented team possibly could go on such a bad stretch.

“I think we’re good,” Jackson said. “We just have to stick our game plan and defend. When we defend and rebound, we’re a good team. I’m trying to preach that to the team.”

When Baylor defends, rebounds and gets two performances such as the ones delivered by Jackson and junior forward Cory Jefferson, it resembles a great team.

The Bears scored the rout against the nation’s No. 4 team without getting a single point from their bench. They didn’t need much beyond the 53 points Jackson and Jefferson combined for on 22 of 26 shooting, including five of six from three-point land.

Jefferson came into the day 0-for-7 for his career from three and made three of three three-point attempts Saturday.

Asked if the coach had given him the green light to shoot them, Jefferson said he did, at which point Jackson’s eyes bugged out of his head.

“Coach gave him the green light after he made the second one,” Jackson said.

Jackson had little trouble getting around KU’s guards on his way to 28 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and two steals in 38 minutes.

Jefferson had 25 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots.

The Bears shot .577 overall and hit half their three-point attempts and played inspired basketball at both ends.

“Let’s face it, when the ball goes in, it makes everybody play better on the defensive end,” Drew said. “When you make shots, it’s a big difference.”

Comments

4 years, 6 months ago

Jefferson took Withey to the wood shed and simply out classed him. The only positives today were the aggressive play of Ellis and BMac on the road.

If we somehow play Baylor again in the Big 12 Tournament, maybe closer but same result.

hawk_of_ages 4 years, 6 months ago

Why would you assume we lose to Baylor on a neutral court? We destroyed them at the Fieldhouse.

jaybate 4 years, 6 months ago

With a maximum effort, KU will flush Baylor in the tournament no problem.

Self didn't amp them at all.

The calculus was this.

Better to tie for the conference title and win the tourney title, rather than win the conference title and lose the conference tourney.

So: Self saved the amp and referee baiting and wrinkles for the conference tourney.

bayareajhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

Riiiight, because fans constantly storm the court at elite programs...

Put down those sour grapes. They needed a win to keep their tournament hopes alive and they beat the crap out of a top-5 team that has won their league for the past decade. How dare they celebrate! Those peasants don't deserve to celebrate a win like that!

Ted Hume 4 years, 6 months ago

hope is a little optimistic at this point, unless they win the B12 tournament. Otherwise, no team with 14 losses has ever, or will ever, clinch an at-large birth in the NCAAs as far as I can tell.

Ted Hume 4 years, 6 months ago

wow. was i wrong- just looked it up and a whole bunch of 14 loss teams have made it as at-large selections. crazy. my bad. never mind.

Ron Franklin 4 years, 6 months ago

uk and Baylor given gifts yesterday. Hawks better understand the intensity they need to bring to the tourney...obviously unable to pump themselves up to match baylors anoche.

GreatJake 4 years, 6 months ago

Okay now I understand from Jackson's preaching to the team .... He was coaching the team and not Drew. But then again when he and J play the way they did - who needs coaching

FearlessJayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

Looks like KU will probably be a two seed which I think is better. There is so much parody, I don't know who I'm going to pick to win it all. It seems KU does better when I pick them to lose. This year I think I will flip a coin on each match-up and see how well I do.

Sam Constance 4 years, 6 months ago

Baylor still doesn't deserve to be in the NCAA tournament.

I know it's great and all that you beat the king of the hill in your geographic league, and that certainly will make your otherwise criminally disappointing season, but your resume is still garbage.

They are 18-13 overall, with a 9-9 record in the league that is, by most objective standards, 4th or 5th best in the country. They are 5-10 against the RPI top 100 (including 3-10 against the RPI top 50).

I'm so tired of teams thinking that all they need to go dancing is one win against a top-five (or in that range) team. Just a couple of weeks ago, Virginia beat Duke on their home floor and everyone was like "well, UVA is probably going dancing now, with such a great win!". Bullstuff. One win does not a season make, and when I see a team like Virginia or Baylor rise up and get ONE truly quality win out of 30 chances, I would rather give their spot to a team that maybe didn't play as much quality competition, but was consistently good in doing so. Baylor has the kind of talent that they should be kept out of the Dance on principle, for taking a team with so much skill and turning in a truly terrible season.

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