| Baylor (27-7) vs.  South Dakota State (27-7)
March 15, 2012 | 6:27 p.m. CDT
Albuquerque, N.M. | The Pit / Bob King Court (15,411)
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No. 3 seed (27-7) Baylor will make its fourth postseason appearance in the last five seasons Thursday against first-time NCAA Championship participant and No. 14 seed South Dakota State (27-7). Thursday's game will tip at 6:27 p.m. CDT on truTV.
Baylor and South Dakota State, the automatic qualifier from The Summit League, will meet for the first time. Baylor is 8-4 all-time against current Summit League teams.
2012 is Baylor's fourth modern tournament era NCAA appearance (post-1950). Baylor's first three tournament appearances -- 1946, 1948 and 1950 -- were in an eight-team bracket.
Nine Baylor opponents made the Field of 68 and Baylor is 10-7 this season against the 2012 NCAA Championship field - Texas (2-0), Iowa State (1-1), Kansas State (2-1), Missouri (0-3), Kansas (1-2), West Virginia (1-0), BYU (1-0), Saint Mary's (1-0), San Diego State (1-0).
All seven of Baylor's losses this season came to teams in the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship field.
Four current players on the Baylor roster have previous NCAA Championship experience - Quincy Acy, Fred Ellis, Cory Jefferson, Anthony Jones and A.J. Walton were members on Baylor's 2010 NCAA Elite Eight team. Fred Ellis was a redshirt on Baylor's 2008 NCAA tournament team. Senior J'mison Morgan, who is redshirting this season, was on the 2008-09 UCLA team that lost in the second round to Villanova.
The Big 12 had six teams selected for the 2012 NCAA Championship, tied for the second-most of any conference.
Baylor is 6-8 all-time in the NCAA Championship, while Scott Drew is 3-2 as head coach.
Baylor is 8-2 in games decided by 5 points or fewer this season -- 7 of the 8 wins have been away from home.
Baylor has made at least one 3-point field goal in 653 consecutive games -- the second-longest active streak in the Big 12.
F Quincy Miller was named Big 12 Co-Freshman of the Year, becoming the first Baylor player to earn conference freshman of the year honors since Brian Skinner in 1995 (Southwest Conference).
Bob Cousy Award finalist Pierre Jackson has a knack for making big play after big play. In his first season at Baylor, Jackson has been a part of eight go-ahead, game-tying or game-winning plays.
Senior F Quincy Acy ranks 12th in school history with 1,307 points. He also ranks 3rd in career FG percentage (60.0), 2nd in career blocks (172) and 6th in career rebounding (792).
The Baylor/South Dakota State winner will advance to Saturday's third round against the UNLV/Colorado winner. Game tip and TV designation will be announced Thursday evening.
SEEDING IS CRITICAL
Baylor's No. 3 seed is the South Region is tied for the highest NCAA tournament seed in program history. In 2010, Baylor was also a No. 3 seed in the South Region and advanced to the Elite Eight.
In fact, 2012 marks only Baylor's fourth tournament appearance since the NCAA began seeding the field in 1979.
In 1988, Baylor was the No. 8 seed in the Midwest Region when it lost to Memphis in the first round in South Bend, Ind.
In 2008, Baylor was the No. 11 seed in the West Region when it lost to Purdue the first round in Washington, D.C.
Four current players on the Baylor roster have previous NCAA Championship experience - Quincy Acy, Fred Ellis, Cory Jefferson, Anthony Jones and A.J. Walton were members on Baylor's 2010 NCAA Elite Eight team.
Ellis was a redshirt on Baylor's 2008 NCAA tournament team. Senior J'mison Morgan, who is redshirting this season, was on the 2008-09 UCLA team that lost in the second round to Villanova.
Acy, Ellis and Jones were also members on Baylor's 2009 NIT runner-up team.
DREW IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
Scott Drew is no stranger to the NCAA Championship. Thursday will be Drew's sixth NCAA tournament game as head coach (all at Baylor); he is 3-2 in his previous five tournament games as head coach.
Drew was a major factor in Valparaiso's six NCAA appearances (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002) while an assistant on his father Homer's staff. Valpo gained fame for its Cinderella run to the 1998 Sweet Sixteen, highlighted by one of the famous shots in NCAA Championship history: a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer by Scott's younger brother Bryce Drew that beat Ole Miss in a first-round game in Oklahoma City.
In 2008, Drew guided Baylor to its first NCAA Championship appearance in 20 seasons.
BAYLOR IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
Baylor has six previous NCAA Championship appearances, the last in 2010 (lost in the Elite Eight to eventual national champion Duke). 2012 marks only Baylor's fourth NCAA berth since 1950. Baylor played in three tournaments in a five-year span between 1946-1950 under head coach Bill Henderson, including Final Four appearances in 1948 and 1950.
The 1947-48 squad lost to Kentucky (58-42) in the national title game at Madison Square Garden in New York.