No. 3 Baylor (25-7) vs. No. 14 New Mexico State (28-5)
By Jerry Hill
Baylor Bear Foundation
TULSA, Okla. - By the time you play Big 12 teams a second and sometimes a third time, they know your plays as well as you do.
"If your player is in the wrong positon, they actually tell you, `Hey, you're supposed to be here on that play,''' Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "So, it just makes it real tough to execute and score. You just know their tendencies."
That's why Drew, even with first-round upset losses each of the last two seasons, sees the NCAA Tournament as a "breath of fresh air."
"That's the beauty of the NCAA Tournament," said Drew, whose third-seeded Bears (25-7) face New Mexico State (28-5) in a first-round game at 11:40 a.m. Friday at the BOK Center. "Everybody gets a breath of fresh air. Different venue, different excitement and playing different teams."
Trying to get out of the first round for the first time since a Sweet 16 trip in 2014, the Bears get a New Mexico State team that at least has a hint of familiarity. This is the 11th time the two teams have met, but only twice in the last 37 years, with Baylor winning 66-55 on Dec. 7, 2014 and 85-70 on Dec. 23, 2015 in games at the Ferrell Center.
Senior guard Ian Baker, the WAC Player of the Year who is averaging 16.6 points and 4.1 assists, says it doesn't really matter, because "our playing style is totally different from the last two years."
"You know, we have not taken really any time this year to worry about previous seasons or previous games," said first-year head coach Paul Weir, an assistant coach for the Aggies the last 10 years. "This team is so new. We have a lot of new faces. And even the returning faces were never really part of our rotation in years past. So, we really haven't spent any time talking about what happened in previous games.
"It's about looking at our film and our preparation this year with this team in comparison to what Baylor is doing this year with their team."
While Baylor has a significant size advantage inside with 7-foot junior center Jo Lual-Acuil (9.2 ppg, 7.0 rebounds, 2.6 blocks) and 6-10 junior forward Johnathan Motley (17.3 ppg, 9.9 rebounds), the two teams share similar strengths. They both rank in the top 40 in offensive rebounding and 3-point shooting percentage defense.
"We're remarkably similar in how we execute our various styles of play," Weir said. "We just about it in much different ways. But, there's no mistake about it. We're going to have to make some shots."
Drew said the Aggies are "very similar to a lot of teams we play from the standpoint of a lot of athleticism."
"They're fast, their point guard (Baker) is really good, their big guys are active, their wings are active," sophomore guard Jake Lindsey said. "They all play hard, they know how to make plays, and they play well with each other. Speed is not something we're accustomed to. Speed is not something we're unaccustomed to. We've played against Kansas, we've played against other teams that play smaller. We've beaten teams that play smaller. We have a couple bigger guys, and they've got to match up with us, too. We like our matchup."
Baylor should have junior point guard Manu Lecomte (12.4 ppg, 3.9 assists) back close to full speed. After missing the last two regular-season games with a sprained left ankle, he hit 5-of-7 shots and scored 13 points in 24 minutes in last week's 70-64 loss to Kansas State in the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals.
"With Manu, the big thing is we've been able to practice with him," Drew said. "It's really hard if you don't practice with someone and you put him in games and now he's not as aggressive or he's not as in rhythm with things or in sync with his teammates. He might be, but the other teammates aren't with him. Now, I think players would all prefer to just show up for games, but we all know the importance of practice."
Ish Wainright, the team's lone senior, said the team hasn't discussed or even talked about the upset losses to Yale last year or Georgia State in 2015.
"What happened the last two years?" he said jokingly during Thursday's media session. "No, we haven't really talked about it. We know what we need to do. Just moving on. We know what's at stake and we know what we need to do."
If Baylor advances, the Bears would face either sixth-seeded SMU (30-4) or 11th-seeded USC (25-9) on Sunday for a spot in the East Region semifinals next weekend at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Trojans survived Wednesday's play-in game versus Providence, 75-71, and will face the Mustangs at approximately 2:10 p.m.
"It's the best time of the year," Drew said, "so hopefully we can play our best basketball."
No. 3 seed Baylor faces No. 14 New Mexico State in the 2017 NCAA Tournament first round at Tulsa's BOK Center. The game tips off at 11:40 a.m. and will be televised on truTV.
Baylor is appearing in the NCAA Tournament for a school-record fourth consecutive season.
Baylor is 11-12 in 10 previous NCAA Championships trips, including 8-6 in the Scott Drew era.
Drew has led Baylor to two Elite Eights (2010, 2012) and three Sweet 16s (2010, 2012, 2014).
Baylor's No. 3 NCAA Tournament seed ties its best-ever (2010, 2012, 2015).
Baylor is 29-15 in postseason tournaments (conference, national) over the last eight seasons.
BU is seeking its 26th win, which would tie the 3rd-most in a season in BU history (26 in 2014).
Baylor's 25 regular season wins tied its most in program history (2012), its 12 Big 12 wins tied its most in conference play (2012) and its tie for 2nd place tied its best-ever Big 12 finish (2010).
Friday is the 11th series meeting. Baylor is 5-5 all-time vs. NMSU, including 1-1 in neutral site games.
Baylor and NMSU met in Waco on December 17, 2014 (BU 66-55) and December 23, 2015 (BU 85-70).
BU has reached the 20-win mark for a school-record 6th straight season and 9th time in the last 10 years.
Baylor has faced a second-half deficit and come back to win in 11 games this season.
BU is 8-2 when trailing at half and averages a +11.0 scoring margin in 2nd halves of those games.
BU is 47-9 over the last two seasons when it takes the lead at any point in the 2nd half of a game.
Baylor's defense held teams to 64.3 points per game in Big 12 play, which led the league by 7.7 ppg.
BU held opponents to an average of 9.4 ppg below their scoring averages in Big 12 play.
BU led the league in FG defense (41%), rebounding (38.3) and rebounding margin (+9.5) in Big 12 play.
Baylor's defense this season has been its best of the Drew era - BU ranks No. 14 nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency - Drew's best previous defense was ranked No. 23 nationally in 2014-15.
Baylor's defense ranks 17th nationally in effective field goal percentage defense (45.2), 21st in 2-point FG defense (44.2), 27th in 3-point FG defense (31.4) and 28th in block percentage (13.2).
BU has been out-rebounded just 4 times all season (all BU wins) and has out-rebounded its opponent by double-digits in half of its 32 games. BU ranks 4th nationally with a +8.9 rebounding margin.
BU opponents average 18.5 seconds per possession, 7th-longest nationally according to KenPom.com.
Drew is one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Men's College Coach of the Year.
Drew is 241-110 since 2007-08, the first year he had a full allotment of scholarships.
Baylor is 150-63 over the last 6 seasons, averaging 25.0 wins per season since 2012.
Baylor is 95-77 in Big 12 play since 2008 after going 45-131 in the league's first 11 seasons.
Johnathan Motley is a Naismith Trophy semifinalist (10), on the Wooden Award National Ballot (15) and a Karl Malone Award finalist (5). He's a 2nd Team All-American by USBWA, Sporting News and NBC.
Motley is the 16th All-American in BU history and the first-ever unanimous first-team All-Big 12 pick.
Manu Lecomte is Baylor's 2nd player to win Big 12 Newcomer of the Year (Ekpe Udoh, 2010).
BU had 4 All-Big 12 honorees, as Ishmail Wainright and Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. were also recognized.
BAYLOR NCAA TOURNAMENT NOTES
Baylor is 11-12 in 10 previous NCAA Championships trips, including an 8-6 record in the Scott Drew era.
Baylor is appearing in the NCAA Tournament for a school-record fourth consecutive season.
Baylor is making its eighth NCAA Tournament appearance in the modern tournament era. BU's first three NCAA Tournament appearances in 1946, 1948 and 1950 were in an eight-team bracket.
Baylor is one of 15 teams nationally to play in three Sweet 16s since 2010.
Baylor has the nation's sixth-best postseason winning percentage since 2009 (.739; 17-6) [min. 3 NCAA berths].
Baylor is 29-15 in postseason tournaments (conference, national) over the last nine seasons.
Baylor has played in two Final Fours (1948 and 1950) -- when it was an eight-team bracket -- and one national championship game (lost to Kentucky in 1948 title game).
Baylor has played against 12 NCAA Tournament teams this season, but none of those teams are in the East Regional.
BU is 12-6 against the 2017 NCAA Tournament field - No. 1 Kansas (0-2), No. 2 Louisville (1-0), No. 3 Oregon (1-0), No. 4 West Virginia (1-1), No. 5 Iowa State (1-1), No. 9 Michigan State (1-0), No. 10 Oklahoma State (2-0), No. 10 VCU (1-0), No. 11 Xavier (1-0), No. 11 Kansas State (1-2), No. 14 FGCU (1-0) and No. 16 Texas Southern (1-0).
Baylor and New Mexico State will be meeting for the 11th time and first time as NCAA Tournament opponents.
Baylor's series records vs. possible Second Round opponents: BU is 77-86 vs. SMU, 2-0 vs. Providence and 1-1 vs. USC.
Six of Baylor's seven losses this season came against 2017 NCAA Tournament teams.
Ishmail Wainright is expected to become the first player in program history to appear in four NCAA Tournaments.
Five additional BU players have previous NCAA Tournament experience -- juniors Al Freeman, Johnathan Motley and Terry Maston and sophomores Jake Lindsey and King McClure.
Additionally, junior Manu Lecomte has five games of NIT experience during Miami's run to the 2014 title game.
Baylor (150), Iowa State (146) and Kansas (176) are the only Big 12 teams with 125+ wins since 2011-12.
Baylor is 6-3 vs. AP Top 25-ranked teams and 4-3 vs. AP Top 10 teams this season (wins vs. No. 4 Oregon, No. 24 Michigan State, No. 10 Louisville, No. 7 Xavier, at No. 25 Kansas State and No. 10 West Virginia).
BU is 19-17 in Big 12 road games since 2014 and 28-26 since 2012, both trailing only Kansas.
Baylor has 18 wins over ranked teams in the last three seasons (18-17 since 2014-15).
BU has won 22+ games every year since 2012, one of 19 teams to make that claim entering 2016-17.
Head coach Scott Drew is in his 14th season at Baylor and is the school's all-time wins leader (275).
Baylor has won 88% of its games when leading at the half since 2011-12 (117-16).
BU has won 41% of games in which its been tied or trailing at the half since 2011-12, going 33-47 in those.
The Bears have defeated four top-10 teams in a season for the first time in program history.
Baylor climbed to No. 1 in the Jan. 9 AP Top 25, marking the first No. 1 ranking in program history.
BU's climb from unranked in week 1 to No. 1 in week 9 was the fastest by any team in AP Top 20/25 history.
BU is one of four teams to reach the No. 1 spot after being unranked in the AP preseason top 20/25.
BU received 55 first-place votes in the Jan. 9 AP poll and has notched 92 first-place votes in AP polls this season.
Prior to this season, the Bears had only received one first-place vote since the first AP poll in 1949.
Baylor is one of 13 teams to be nationally ranked in each of the last 10 seasons.
Baylor is 47-29 in games decided by 5 or fewer points and 12-2 in overtime games since 2008-09.
Baylor has the nation's 2nd-longest non-conference home winning streak at 43 straight. Duke has the longest streak at 132 games, followed by Baylor at 43 and Arizona at 39.
The Bears' last non-conference home loss was vs. Northwestern on Dec. 4, 2012. BU averages a 22.3-point margin of victory and has nine wins over high-major teams during the streak.
Baylor won the 2016 Battle 4 Atlantis with wins over VCU, No. 24 Michigan State and No. 10 Louisville. Johnathan Motley was named tournament MVP after averaging 20.0 points per game.
Baylor has had a nation-leading four players selected in the NBA Draft since 2010 who weren't ranked in the ESPN100 out of high school -- Quincy Acy, Ekpe Udoh, Pierre Jackson and Taurean Prince.
Seven of BU's eight starting point guards during the Drew era have earned All-Big 12 recognition.
Baylor has the Big 12's 2nd-longest active streak with at least one 3-point FG made in 832 straight games.
BU did not receive any preseason poll votes for the first time since 2009-10.
MOTLEY BECOMES 16TH ALL-AMERICAN IN PROGRAM HISTORY
Johnathan Motley was named to the All-America 2nd team by USBWA, Sporting News and NBC Sports and to the 3rd team by USA Today. He became the 16th All-American player in program history.
Motley can become Baylor's first-ever AP 1st-team All-American. The only previous Bears named to the AP All-America 1st or 2nd teams were Vinnie Johnson (2nd team, 1979) and Terry Teagle (2nd team, 1982).
Motley is the first Naismith Trophy semifinalist (1 of 10) in program history. He's also 1 of 15 players on the Wooden Award National Ballot and is on the Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List (1 of 19) and the Lute Olson Award watch list, and he's 1 of 5 finalists for the Karl Malone Award.
Motley is currently 3rd in KenPom.com's National Player of the Year rankings at 1.578, trailing only Villanova's Josh Hart (1.759) and Saint Mary's Jock Londale (1,634). He's the top-ranked Big 12 player, with OSU's Jawun Evans (1.333) in 8th and KU's Frank Mason (1.327) in 9th.
Baylor tied a number of program bests this season. The Bears' 25 regular season wins tied the most in program history (2012), and BU's 12 Big 12 victories tied its most in any conference (2012).
BU also tied its best-ever finish in the Big 12 standings, matching the 3-way tie for 2nd place from 2010.
BU's No. 3 seed in the Big 12 Championship tied the 2010 season for best in program history.
Baylor also tied the highest NCAA Tournament seed in program history (No. 3 in 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2017).
Friday is the 11th series meeting between Baylor and New Mexico State.
The series is tied 5-5, including a 1-1 mark in neutral site games.
Each team is 3-1 on its home court in the series. BU and NMSU met in Waco during both the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. The Bears won both games, 66-55 on Dec. 17, 2014 and 85-70 on Dec. 23, 2015.
BAYLOR VS. 2016 NCAA FIELD OF 68
Baylor is 12-6 against the 2017 NCAA Tournament field this season.
BU has played No. 1 Kansas (0-2), No. 2 Louisville (1-0), No. 3 Oregon (1-0), No. 4 West Virginia (1-1), No. 5 Iowa State (1-1), No. 9 Michigan State (1-0), No. 10 Oklahoma State (2-0), No. 10 VCU (1-0), No. 11 Xavier (1-0), No. 11 Kansas State (1-2), No. 14 FGCU (1-0) and No. 16 Texas Southern (1-0).
BU went 2-2 against teams with No. 3 better seeds and 10-4 against lower-seeded teams.
None of the 12 NCAA Tournament teams BU has faced are in the East Regional.
All told, BU is 15-6 against 2017 postseason teams -- 12-6 vs. NCAA and 3-0 vs. NIT.
TIED FOR BEST SEED IN PROGRAM HISTORY
Baylor's No. 3 NCAA Tournament seed ties 2010, 2012 and 2015 for best in program history.
The Bears are 6-3 in three previous NCAA appearances as a No. 3 seed.
BU advanced to the Elite Eight and lost to the eventual national champion in both 2010 (Duke) and 2012 (Kentucky), and the Bears lost in the first round in 2015 (Georgia State).
WEALTH OF POSTSEASON EXPERIENCE
Six Baylor players have previous NCAA Tournament experience, including Ishmail Wainright, who can become the first player in program history to play in four NCAA Tournaments.
Juniors Johnathan Motley, Al Freeman and Terry Maston and sophomores Jake Lindsey and King McClure played in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Motley and Freeman played in the 2015 NCAA Tournament and redshirted on the 2014 Sweet 16 team.
Additionally, Manu Lecomte has five games of NIT experience from Miami's run to the 2014 title game.
DREW IN NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Head coach Scott Drew has an 8-6 record over six previous NCAA Championship appearances.
Drew has guided Baylor to seven NCAA Tournaments in the last 10 seasons. Prior to Drew's arrival, Baylor went to only four NCAA Touraments, including just once in the 63 seasons precedeing his arrival in 2003-04.
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.
In 2008, Drew guided Baylor to its first NCAA Championship appearance in 20 seasons (since 1988) and just its second appearance in 58 seasons since going to the eight-team tournament in 1950.
BAYLOR IN NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Baylor has 10 previous NCAA Championship appearances, and the Bears have lost to the eventual national champion four times (1946, 1948, 2010 and 2012).
Baylor's 1946 team lost to Oklahoma A&M in the regional semifinals in Kansas City, Mo.
Baylor's 1948 squad lost to Kentucky in the national title game at New York's Madison Square Garden,
Baylor's 2010 team lost to Duke in the Elite Eight at Houston's Reliant Stadium.
Baylor's 2012 team lost to Kentucky in the Elite Eight at Atlanta's Georgia Dome.
Prior to 2015, Baylor's NCAA bids all came in even-numbered years --1946, 1948, 1950, 1988, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014. The Bears are appearing in four straight NCAA Tournaments for the first time in program history.
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.
WINNING AWAY FROM HOME VS. NON-BIG 12 TEAMS
Baylor is 49-23 against non-conference teams in neutral/road games in the Scott Drew era, including a 26-10 record in away games against non-Big 12 teams since 2011-12.
Baylor is 47-19 in road/neutral non-conference games since the 2007-08 season (4-0 in 2016-17; 1-3 in 2015-16; 3-2 in 2014-15; 6-2 in 2013-14; 5-2 in 2012-13; 8-1 in 2011-12; 1-3 in 2010-11; 8-2 in 2009-10; 6-2 in 2008-09; 5-2 in 2007-08).
EIGHT WINS AFTER TRAILING AT HALFTIME
Baylor has trailed at halftime 10 times this season (VCU by 8, Michigan State by 3, Louisville by 15, Xavier by 3, OSU by 5, at WVU by 7, at TCU by 2, at Ole Miss by 7, vs. K-State by 15, vs. WVU by 2), but BU is 8-2 in those games.
Baylor averages a +11.0 scoring margin in second halves of the 10 games it has trailed at halftime.
In the eight wins, BU's defense has allowed 34.0 first-half points and 27.5 second-half points.
BU has out-scored opponents by 9+ points in second halves in all 8 of those wins - VCU 43-27, Michigan State 43-25, Louisville 42-24, Xavier 45-27, Oklahoma State 36-27, TCU 36-25, Ole Miss 43-33 and WVU 43-32.
OVERCOMING SECOND-HALF DEFICITS
Eleven times this season Baylor has faced a second-half deficit and come back to win.
BU is 47-9 over the last two seasons when it takes a lead at any point in the second half of a game.
The Bears overcame second-half deficits against FGCU (3), vs. VCU (8), vs. Michigan State (3), vs. Louisville (20), Xavier (9), Iowa State (6), Oklahoma State (7) at K-State (2), at TCU (2), at Ole Miss (10) and West Virginia (8).
A WIN WOULD ...
Be Baylor's 26th win of the season, tying the 3rd-most in school history (30 in 2012, 28 in 2010, 26 in 2014).
Improve Baylor's all-time NCAA Tournament record to 12-12, including 9-6 in the Scott Drew era.
Mark the 4th time the Bears advanced to the NCAA Tournament Second Round in 7 trips during the Drew era.
Improve Baylor's record to 30-15 in postseason tournaments (conference, national) over the last 9 seasons.
Give Baylor a 6-5 lead in the all-time series against New Mexico State, including 2-1 in neutral site games.
Make Baylor 151-63 since 2011-12, the Big 12's second-most wins in that span behind only Kansas (176).
Give Baylor a 242-110 record since 2007-08, Drew's first year with a full allotment of scholarships.
Be Ishmail Wainright's 90th career win, the 6th-most in program history.
Improve Baylor's record to 98-41 during Wainright's four-year career, the 4th-most wins in a 4-year career.
FOUR BEARS EARN ALL-BIG 12 HONORS
Johnathan Motley, Manu Lecomte, Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. and Ishmail Wainright earned All-Big 12 recognition.
Motley is Baylor's first-ever unanimous first-team All-Big 12 honoree, picking up unanimous recognition from both the league's coaches and media, and he's the seventh different Baylor player named first-team All-Big 12.
Lecomte joined Ekpe Udoh (2010) as the only players in program history to earn Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. Lecomte was also named to the coaches' All-Big 12 third team and All-Newcomer team.
Wainright picked up All-Big 12 honorable mention and All-Defensive team recogition from the league's coaches.
Lual-Acuil was an All-Big 12 honorable mention selection by the league's media.
Four honorees tied the school record set in 2012 and 2016. At least three BU players have been named All-Big 12 in 10 straight seasons, with 33 all-league honors earned by 21 different players since 2008.
SECOND-MOST WINS AMONG BIG 12 TEAMS SINCE 2011-12
Baylor's 150-63 record since 2011-12 trails only Kansas (176-41) among Big 12 teams (thru 3/13/17).
Iowa State (146-62) is 3rd, West Virginia (126-76) is 4th, Oklahoma (123-78) is 5th, Kansas State (121-78) is 6th, Texas (112-92) is 7th, Oklahoma State (110-86) is 8th, TCU (87-110) is 9th and Texas Tech (83-107) is 10th.
Baylor has averaged 25 wins per season over the last 5 years.
DREW AND MOTLEY AMONG NAISMITH SEMIFINALISTS
Baylor head coach Scott Drew is one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Men's College Coach of the Year and junior forward Johnathan Motley is one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Men's College Player of the Year.
Drew has led Baylor from receiving no votes in either preseason poll to the first No. 1 ranking in program history.
Drew also had four wins over top-10 teams this season and had the Bears top-10 ranked in 14 of the last 15 polls.
Motley is the first player in program history named a Naismith semifinalist, and he is the first BU player named a USBWA All-American. He leads the Big 12 with 9.9 rebounds per game and ranks fourth with 17.3 ppg.
BEST DEFENSE OF DREW ERA
Baylor's defense held opponents to 64.3 points per game in Big 12 play, which led the league by 7.7 ppg. That margin was greater than the 6.1 ppg difference between No. 2 (WVU, 72.0) and No. 10 (OSU, 78.1) in the league.
BU opponents averaged 9.4 points per game below their season averages in Big 12 play.
BU is No. 14 in adjusted defensive efficiency as of March 13. Its best defense under Drew was No. 23 in 2015.
The Bears have been top-100 in KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency in seven straight seasons.
BU was No. 23 in 2015, No. 37 in 2012 and No. 42 in 2010 - the Bears were NCAA No. 3 seeds all three years.
The Bears were No. 64 in 2013, No. 70 in 2014, No. 79 in 2011 and No. 84 in 2016.
FOUR CONSECUTIVE NCAA TOURNAMENT APPEARANCES
Baylor is on a school-record streak of four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Prior to earning at-large bids in each of the last four seasons, the Bears had never been to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments.
BU is 1 of 19 teams appearing in its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament, joining Arizona, Cincinnati, Dayton, Duke, Gonzaga, Iowa State, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina, Oregon, Providence, VCU, Villanova, Virginia, Wichita State, Wisconsin and Xavier.
The Bears are one of eight teams nationally to earn a top-six seed in each of the last four NCAA Tournaments, joining Arizona, Duke, Iowa State, Kansas, North Carolina, Villanova and Virginia.
Baylor was a No. 6 seed in 2014, a No. 3 seed in 2015, a No. 5 seed in 2016 and a No. 3 seed this season.
FINAL FOURS, "MR. BILL" AND THE GOLDEN YEARS OF BAYLOR BASKETBALL
The golden years of Baylor basketball came under the direction of the late Bill Henderson. "Mr. Bill" led Baylor to its first three NCAA Tournament appearances, two Final Fours and a national runner-up finish in 1948.
Henderson coached for a collective 19 seasons and amassed 201 wins. He served as president of the NABC and athletic director at Baylor. Henderson is a member of the Baylor Athletic Hall of Fame, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and was the honorary coach of Baylor's All-Centennial Team.
Henderson's 201 wins were a school record until Scott Drew surpassed him on March 14, 2014.
BAYLOR 20-WIN SEASONS
In the program's first 101 seasons, Baylor posted 20+ wins just three times -- 1945-46, 1947-48 and 1987-88.
In the last 10 seasons, Baylor has nine 20-win campaigns.
ONE OF 15 TEAMS WITH THREE SWEET 16 APPEARANCES SINCE 2010
Baylor is one of 15 teams nationally to make three Sweet 16 appearances in the last seven years.
The Bears are joined by Arizona, Duke, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Marquette, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Syracuse, Wisconsin and Xavier.
Scott Drew is the youngest of 11 coaches nationally to lead his current program to three Sweet 16s since 2010. Drew (46) is joined by Xavier's Chris Mack (47), Arizona's Sean Miller (48), Ohio State's Thad Matta (49), Indiana's Tom Crean (50), Kansas' Bill Self (54), Kentucky's John Calipari (58), Michigan State's Tom Izzo (62), Louisville's Rick Pitino (64), North Carolina's Roy Williams (66), Duke's Mike Krzyzewski (70) and Syracuse's Jim Boeheim (72).
NATION'S SIXTH-BEST POSTSEASON RECORD
Baylor's 17-6 postseason record over the past eight seasons is the nation's sixth-best among teams with at least three NCAA Tournament berths since 2009.
The only teams with better postseason winning percentages than Baylor's .739 are Connecticut (.783), Kentucky (.781), North Carolina (.781), Duke (.778), Louisville (.750)
The Bears' 17 postseason wins in that span are eighth-most, trailing only Kentucky (25), North Carolina (25), Duke (21), Michigan State (20), Kansas (18), Connecticut (18) and Louisville (18).
Baylor went 4-1 and advanced to the 2009 NIT Championship game, 3-1 on their way to NCAA Tournament Elite Eight berths in 2010 and 2012, 5-0 to claim the 2013 NIT title and 2-1 on its way to the 2014 Sweet 16.
CONSISTENTLY AMONG NATION'S BEST OFFENSES
Baylor's offense has consistently ranked among the nation's best over the last nine seasons under Scott Drew.
The Bears have finished eight of the past nine seasons among the top 20 nationally in KenPom's adjusted offensive efficiency, joining Duke as the only programs to make that claim.
This season, Baylor is No. 22 in adjusted offensive efficiency as of March 13.
BU finished No. 13 in 2015-16, No. 18 in 2014-15, No. 9 in 2013-14, No. 14 in 2012-13, No. 8 in 2011-12, No. 102 in 2010-11, No. 3 in 2009-10, No. 11 in 2008-09 and No. 11 in 2007-08.
FASTEST CLIMB FROM UNRANKED TO NO. 1 IN AP POLL HISTORY
Baylor's climb from unranked in the week 1 AP poll to No. 1 in week 9 was the fastest by any team in AP Top 20/25 history (excludes 1961-68, when only 10 teams were ranked in weekly polls).
Only two other teams have gone from unranked in the week 1 AP Top 20/25 to No. 1 - 2009-10 Syracuse climbed to the top spot in week 16, and 1978-79 Indiana State claimed No. 1 in week 14.
BU is one of four teams to go from unranked in the preseason AP Top 20/25 to the No. 1 spot - 1978-79 Indiana State, 1989-90 Kansas and 2009-10 Syracuse also accomplished the feat. Additionally, 1963-64 UCLA and 1965-66 Kentucky went from preseason unranked to No. 1, but only 10 teams were listed in those preseason polls.
Prior to this season, Baylor had received only one first-place vote in school history (2011-12 week 11 poll).
SIX WINS OVER AP TOP 25 TEAMS
Baylor is 6-3 vs. ranked teams (wins vs. No. 4 Oregon, No. 24 Michigan State, No. 10 Louisville, No. 7 Xavier, at No. 25 Kansas State and vs. No. 10 West Virginia; losses at No. 10 WVU, at No. 3 Kansas and vs. No. 3 Kansas).
Baylor has won at least five games vs. AP Top 25 teams in each of the last four seasons.
BU's 6 wins over ranked teams this year are the 2nd-most in program history (7 in 2015; 5 in 2014 and 2016).
Baylor has gone 18-17 against ranked teams since the start of the 2014-15 season.
BU is 37-57 against ranked teams since 2007-08 after going 0-27 in Drew's first four rebuilding seasons.
MOTLEY JOINS 1,000-POINT CLUB
Johnathan Motley became the 31st player in program history to reach the 1,000-point mark on Feb. 8 at OSU.
Motley became the 13th player of the Drew era to reach the milestone, joining LaceDarius Dunn, Curtis Jerrells, Tweety Carter, Kevin Rogers, Quincy Acy, Aaron Bruce, Taurean Prince, Pierre Jackson, Henry Dugat, Rico Gathers, Cory Jefferson and Brady Heslip.
Motley (1,177 points) ranks 21st on Baylor's all-time scoring list. He needs 32 points to pass his frontcourt mate from last season, Rico Gathers (1,208) in 20th place.
Motley is the first player in Baylor history with 1,000 points, 600 rebounds, 100 blocks and 100 assists.
BEST IN TEXAS
Baylor is 49-9 against in-state opponents since the start of the 2011-12 season, and the Bears have advanced deeper into postseason play than any of Texas' 21 Division I team in four of the last five seasons.
BU is a combined 63-13 against Lone Star State teams over the last seven seasons after going 10-27 against in-state teams in Scott Drew's first six seasons at Baylor (7-1 in 2016-17, 9-3 in 2015-16, 10-1 in 2014-15, 6-3 in 2013-14, 7-1 in 2012-13, 10-0 in 2011-12, 5-3 in 2010-11 and 9-1 in 2009-10).
Additionally, six of the nine NBA Draft picks from Texas colleges since 2012 have come from Baylor. North Texas, Texas and Texas A&M have each had one player selected in the last five NBA Drafts.
Baylor has won 88% of its games when leading at the half since 2011-12. BU is 117-16 when leading at the break in that stretch (17-3 this season, 18-2 in 2015-16, 21-7 in 2014-15, 18-2 in 2013-14, 17-1 in 2012-13 and 26-1 in 2011-12).
BU has won 41% of games in which its been tied or trailing at the half since 2011-12, going 34-46 in those.
BU has led at halftime in 133 of 213 games over the last six seasons, and BU is 150-63 since 2011-12.
BEARS IN AP POLL THIS SEASON
Baylor went from receiving no votes in the week 1 AP poll to No. 4 nationally just three weeks later on Dec. 5.
BU was top-10 ranked for a school-record-tying 13 consecutive weeks, including nine weeks in the top-5.
Prior to this season, BU had been top-10 ranked in 20 weekly polls in program history, all during 2010-11, 2011-12 (13 straight weeks) and 2013-14.
Baylor has now been ranked in each of the last 10 seasons - one of 13 teams nationally to make that claim.
EXPERIENCED DESPITE ONLY ONE SENIOR
Baylor has only one senior on this year's roster, but BU's top nine in minutes per game are all at least 20 years old.
All five players in Baylor's most-used starting lineup are in their fourth or fifth years of college. Manu Lecomte (21), Johnathan Motley (21) and Al Freeman (22) are fourth-year juniors, Ishmail Wainright (22) is a fourth-year senior and Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. (22) is a fifth-year junior.
The Bears also have sophomore guards King McClure (20) and Jake Lindsey (20) and junior forwards Terry Maston (21) and Nuni Omot (22).
HISTORY OF SUCCESS WITH REDSHIRTS
Baylor has a track record of success when players redshirt under Scott Drew. Ekpe Udoh, Cory Jefferson, Brady Heslip and Royce O'Neale have all gone on to professional careers after redshirting while at BU.
Four players in Baylor's current starting lineup have redshirted while at Baylor for various reasons.
Al Freeman and Johnathan Motley redshirted in 2013-14 due to the Bears' depth on a Sweet 16 team.
Manu Lecomte (transfer), Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. (medical issues) and Wendell Mitchell (depth) all redshirted last season.
DREW ERA HIGHLIGHTS
Drew is coaching his 455th game at Baylor (275-179). His .606 winning percentage is best in BU history among coaches with 35+ games, and he's the program's all-time wins leader.
Baylor has a .687 winning percentage (241-110) since Drew's first year with no scholarship restrictions in 2007-08.
BU has graduated 92 percent of its scholarship seniors since Drew took over in 2003 (24 of 26).
In Drew's first 13 seasons, 26 players have gone on to professional careers.
SIX NBA DRAFT PICKS IN LAST FIVE SEASONS
Baylor's six NBA Draft picks over the last five years are the nation's sixth most, trailing only Kentucky, Duke, Syracuse, Kansas and North Carolina and tied with Arizona, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State and UCLA.
A program-record three Baylor players were selected in the 2012 NBA Draft -- Perry Jones III (28th pick; Oklahoma City Thunder), Quincy Acy (37th pick; Toronto Raptors) and Quincy Miller (38th pick; Denver Nuggets). Pierre Jackson (42nd pick, Philadelphia 76ers; traded to New Orleans Pelicans) was chosen in the 2013 draft, Cory Jefferson (60th pick; San Antonio Spurs; traded to Brooklyn Nets) was selected in 2014 and Taurean Prince (12th pick; Utah Jazz; traded to Atlanta Hawks) was chosen in 2016.
GRADUATING 92 PERCENT OF SENIORS
Since Scott Drew took over the Baylor Basketball program in 2003, 24 of 26 scholarship players who have exhausted their collegiate eligibility have graduated from Baylor.
Players recruited by Drew who have graduated at Baylor: Tim Bush, Patrick Fields, Aaron Bruce, Mamadou Diene, Delbert Simpson, Curtis Jerrells, Henry Dugat, Kevin Rogers, Tweety Carter, Josh Lomers, Ekpe Udoh, Fred Ellis, Quincy Acy, Anthony Jones, J'mison Morgan, A.J. Walton, Cory Jefferson, Brady Heslip, Gary Franklin, Kenny Chery, Royce O'Neale, Lester Medford, Rico Gathers and Taurean Prince.
PLAYER DEVELOPMENT - FROM UNRANKED TO NBA DRAFT
Baylor has had a nation-leading four players selected in the NBA Draft since 2010 who weren't ranked in the ESPN100 out of high school.
The only other schools with three such players were Colorado, Marquette, Missouri, New Mexico and Connecticut.
Baylor developed Quincy Acy, Ekpe Udoh, Pierre Jackson and Taurean Prince into NBA Draft picks after joining the program as unranked recruits.
Baylor has enjoyed unprecedented success over the last 10 seasons under 14th-year head coach Scott Drew.
Since 2007-08, Baylor is 241-110 (24 wins per season) and has made nine postseason appearances (NCAA -- 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017; NIT -- 2009, 2013) and posted nine 20-win seasons.
Prior to 2007-08, Baylor won only 135 games in the first 11 seasons of the Big 12 era (12.3 wins per season).
Baylor has made 16 postseason appearances (nine under Drew) and won 20+ games 12 times (nine under Drew) in the program's first 111 seasons.
TWENTY-SIX PRO PLAYERS IN DREW ERA
In Scott Drew's first 13 years at Baylor, 26 of his players went on to professional careers.
All three scholarship seniors from last year's team are now playing professionally.
Taurean Prince was selected 12th overall in the NBA Draft, becoming the 2nd lottery pick in program history.
Rico Gathers decided to pursue a pro football career and was selected in the NFL Draft's 6th round.
Lester Medford recently began his professional career playing in Hungary.
Additionally, Isaiah Austin recently signed to play in Serbia, and Pierre Jackson made his NBA debut with Dallas.
SIX STRAIGHT 20-WIN SEASONS
Baylor has won 20+ games in a school-record six consecutive seasons and in nine of the last 10 years. The Bears had just three 20-win seasons in the program's first 101 years (1907-2007).
Baylor has topped 22 wins in all six seasons from 2011-12 to 2016-17. BU entered this season as one of only 19 teams nationally to record 22+ wins in all five seasons since 2011-12.
RANKED IN 10 STRAIGHT SEASONS
Baylor is one of 13 teams to be nationally ranked in each of the last 10 seasons.
BU cracked a string of 38 consecutive unranked seasons when it was tabbed No. 25 in 2007-08.
The Bears reached as high as No. 19 in 2008-09, No. 19 in 2009-10, No. 9 in 2010-11, No. 3 in 2011-12, No. 16 in 2012-13, No. 7 in 2013-14, No. 14 in 2014-15, No. 13 in 2015-16 and No. 1 in 2016-17.
POINT GUARDS THRIVE IN DREW'S SYSTEM
Seven of Baylor's eight starting point guards during the Scott Drew era have earned All-Big 12 recognition.
Manu Lecomte (2017), Lester Medford (2016), Kenny Chery (2014, 2015), Pierre Jackson (2012, 2013), Tweety Carter (2010), Curtis Jerrells (2007, 2008, 2009) and Aaron Bruce (2005, 2006, 2007) have been named All-Big 12.
All seven previous starting point guards in the Drew era went on to play professionally.
RACKING UP BIG 12 WEEKLY AWARDS
Baylor players have been recognized with Big 12 weekly awards a total of eight times in the first 15 weeks.
Johnathan Motley (11/28, 1/9, 1/23) and Manu Lecomte (12/5) have earned Big 12 Player of the Week recognition, with Motley's three awards tying the Baylor record for most in a season.
Lecomte (11/14, 1/3, 2/13) and Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. (12/19) have earned Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors.
Motley now has a school-record four career Big 12 Player of the Week honors (first on 2/22/16 last season).
Lecomte's three Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors tie the most by any player in program history, joining Ekpe Udoh (2010), Perry Jones III (2011) and Pierre Jackson (2012).
BU GETS FOURTH TOP-10 WIN BY KNOCKING OFF NO. 10 WEST VIRGINIA
BU extended its school record with a fourth top-10 win this season, beating No. 10 West Virginia, 71-62, on Feb. 27.
The Bears trailed 49-41 with 9 minutes left, but BU went on a 23-4 run to go up by 11 with 2:25 to play.
Baylor out-rebounded WVU 43-23, helping the Bears overcome 18 turnovers that led to 20 WVU points.
With Manu Lecomte out with an ankle sprain, Jake Lindsey made his career-first start at point guard and had 6 points and 4 assists in 27 minutes. Wendell Mitchell added 4 points and 2 assists in 19 minutes as backup point guard.
Johnathan Motley had a game-high 23 points, Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, Al Freeman added 12 points off the bench.
BEARS KNOCK OFF NO. 7 XAVIER BY 15 POINTS
Baylor defeated No. 7 Xavier, 76-61, on Dec. 3 for its third top-10 win of the season.
It was the 7th matchup of top-10-ranked teams in program history and BU's first-ever win in a top-10 matchup.
The Bears trailed by 3 at the half, but out-scored Xavier 45-27 after the break.
Manu Lecomte had a career-high 24 points, including 6-of-9 on 3-pointers, and was named Big 12 Player of the Week.
The win helped Baylor climb from No. 9 to No. 4 in the AP Top 25, tying the second-best ranking in BU history.
HUGE COMEBACK VS. NO. 10 LOUISVILLE TO CLAIM ATLANTIS
Baylor claimed its 3rd regular-season tournament title of the Drew era and third win over a ranked team this season by rallying from 22 points down to knock off No. 10 Louisville in the 2016 Battle 4 Atlantis title game.
BU trailed 32-10 with 4 minutes left in the 1st half and trailed 39-24 at the break.
Baylor still trailed by 20 points at 44-24 with 16:30 remaining, but out-scored UL 42-19 the rest of the way.
The comeback was keyed by three reserves who played the last 15 minutes - Jake Lindsey, King McClure and Terry Maston combined to shoot 13-of-15 in the second half.
BATTLE 4 ATLANTIS CHAMPIONS
Baylor knocked off VCU, No. 24 Michigan State and No. 10 Louisville to claim the 2016 Battle 4 Atlantis.
BU overcame halftime deficits in all three games and rallied back from 20 down with 16:30 to go vs. Louisville.
Johnathan Motley was named tournament MVP and Big 12 Player of the Week after averaging 20.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. The Big 12 weekly award was the second on Motley's career.
It was the third regular-season tournament title of the Drew era - the 2007 Paradise Jam, 2011 Las Vegas Classic and 2016 Battle 4 Atlantis. BU is now 26-11 in regular-season tournaments under Drew.
The Bears jumped from No. 20 to No. 9 in the AP poll and from receiving votes to No. 11 in the coaches poll.
SEVENTEEN-POINT WIN OVER NO. 4 OREGON
Baylor knocked off No. 4 Oregon, 66-49, on Nov. 15. The Bears became the first team to hold Oregon below 50 points since Feb. 21, 2013 - a streak of 119 games.
The win was Baylor's 4th in its last 11 games against AP Top 5 teams. Prior to that stretch, BU was 3-34 all-time against top-5 ranked opponents. The Bears are now 4-17 against top-5 teams in the Drew era.
BU was led by Manu Lecomte with 18 points and 7 assists, while Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. had 8 points, 14 rebounds and 7 blocks. Lual-Acuil's 7 blocks tied the 10th-most in a game in program history.
Johnathan Motley made his season debut and had 17 points and 7 boards in 28 minutes.
BAYLOR BASKETBALL ON THE RADIO
Baylor basketball is aired live via the Baylor-IMG College Radio Network on ESPN Central Texas and flagship station 1660AM ESPN Radio (KRZI) in Waco and worldwide on Sirius/XM Radio and the TuneIn App.
Games are broadcast by the "Voice of the Bears" John Morris and former Baylor basketball standout Pat Nunley.
Morris is in his 29th year doing Baylor broadcasts, while Nunley is in his 34th season as color analyst.
All of Baylor's games can be heard live on the Internet at www.BaylorBears.com and via the TuneIn App.
If Baylor defeats New Mexico State it will advance to a Second Round game against either No. 6 SMU, No. 11 Providence or No. 11 USC. That game will be played Sunday in Tulsa, with tipoff time and TV to be determined.