|Baylor (25-11) vs. Creighton (27-7)
March 23, 2014 | 6:40 p.m. CT
San Antonio, Texas | AT&T Center (17,731)
Web Video: NCAA.com
Radio: Westwood One / ESPN Central Texas
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No. 6 seed Baylor is making its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last seven seasons.
Baylor has the nation's best postseason winning percentage over the last six seasons (.842; 16-3).
Baylor is 26-9 in postseason tournaments (conference, national) over the last six seasons.
Baylor is 10-9 in eight NCAA Championships trips, including a 7-3 record in the Scott Drew era.
Baylor lost to the eventual national champion in four of its previous seven NCAAs (1946, 1948, 2010, 2012).
2014 is Baylor's fifth modern era NCAA appearance (post-1950). Baylor's first three tournament appearances in 1946, 1948 and 1950 were in an eight-team bracket.
Baylor is 0-3 all-time against Creighton, with losses in 1962, 1998 and 1999.
Twelve Baylor opponents made the 2014 NCAA Tournament field, and the Bears went 11-9 against those teams this season -- Colorado (1-0), Dayton (1-0), Iowa State (1-2), Kansas (0-2), Kansas State (2-0), Kentucky (1-0), Louisiana-Lafayette (1-0), Oklahoma (1-2), Oklahoma State (2-0), Syracuse (0-1) and Texas (1-2).
Nine of Baylor's 11 losses came to NCAA Tournament teams, with the only others to West Virginia and Texas Tech.
Baylor is one of 10 teams to play in two Elite Eights in the last four seasons. The Bears lost to the eventual national champions both times -- 2010 vs. Duke and 2012 vs. Kentucky.
Three Baylor players have previous NCAA Championship experience. Gary Franklin, Brady Heslip and Cory Jefferson were members on Baylor's 2012 NCAA Elite Eight team, and Jefferson was also on the 2010 Elite Eight team.
Five additional players on the Baylor roster have previous postseason experience through the NIT. Isaiah Austin, Rico Gathers, Logan Lowery and Taurean Prince joined Franklin, Heslip and Jefferson on the 2013 NIT championship team, and Royce O'Neale helped Denver to the second round of the 2013 NIT.
Baylor is 31-16 in March/April games since 2008-09 and 34-26 in March/April games in 11 seasons under Drew.
Baylor is 60-4 when leading at the half since 2011-12 -- 17-2 in 2013-14, 17-1 in 2012-13 and 26-1 in 2011-12.
Since the start of the 2007-08 season, Baylor is 169-80 (24 wins per season) and has made six postseason appearances (2008 NCAA, 2009 NIT, 2010 NCAA, 2012 NCAA; 2013 NIT, 2014 NCAA) with six 20-win seasons.
Baylor is 9-3 this season in games decided by 5 points or less or in OT -- BU was 3-8 in those games last year.
Baylor is 11-2 since Kenny Chery returned to the starting lineup after a turf toe injury.
Scott Drew became Baylor's all-time wins leader with his 202nd career victory on March 14 vs. Texas.
Cory Jefferson is the first player in Baylor history to play in three NCAA Tournaments. He's expected to start his 73rd consecutive game on Sunday, and he'll move into a tie for 5th all-time at Baylor with 129 games played.
Cory Jefferson (2nd team-AP, 3rd team-coaches), Isaiah Austin (honorable mention-coaches, All-Defensive-coaches) and Kenny Chery (honorable mention-AP) earned All-Big 12 honors.
Austin was named to the Big 12 All-Tournament team after shattering the Big 12 Championship record with 18 blocks in four games. The previous record was 11 blocks by Missouri's Arthur Johnson in 2003.
Baylor has out-shot 23 of 33 opponents this season and has been out-rebounded only eight times in 36 games.
Baylor is 3-0 in overtime games this season and 14-3 in OT games under Drew.
Baylor has 17 more Big 12 wins in the last seven years (62-56) than its first 11 years in the league combined (45-131).
Baylor's four NBA Draft picks over the last two years ranks 3rd nationally behind Kentucky and North Carolina.
Baylor is coming off a 2013 NIT title, which was the program's first-ever national tournament championship.
Sunday's game will be Baylor's 102nd consecutive televised contest.
Baylor's victory vs. then-No. 3 Kentucky on Dec. 6 tied its highest AP-ranked win in program history.
Baylor has the Big 12's 2nd-longest active streak with at least one 3-point FG made in 730 consecutive games.
Cory Jefferson was named to the Maui Invitational All-Tournament team, which was his third all-tournament honor over the last two seasons. He was previously honored on 2012 Charleston Classic and 2013 NIT teams.
Jefferson (USA) and Heslip (Canada) played for their national teams in the 2013 World University Games.
Jefferson (94-34) is 3rd on Baylor's career wins list and has the highest winning percentage (.734) in BU history.
Head coach Scott Drew is coaching his 353rd game at Baylor (203-149). His .577 winning percentage is best in BU history among coaches with four or more seasons, and his teams have a .679 winning percentage since 2007-08.
Drew is tied with Kansas' Bill Self as the second-longest tenured head coach in the Big 12 Conference. Drew, who is in his 11th season at Baylor in 2013-14, is second only to Texas' Rick Barnes (16th season at UT).
Sunday's game is the 4th all-time meeting between Baylor and Creighton and the first in postseason play. Creighton has won all three previous meetings, which were December games (1962, 1998, 1999).
Baylor lost 90-69 in a neutral-site game against Creighton in Oklahoma City on Dec. 27, 1962.
Baylor lost 73-58 at Creighton on Dec. 2, 1998, and the Bears lost 77-76 in overtime when the teams met in Waco on Dec. 4,1999.
Baylor's three losses to Creighton have been by an average of 15.0 points.
A WIN WOULD ...
Advance Baylor to the Sweet 16 for the third time in the last five season (2010, 2012, 2014).
Improve Baylor's record in NCAA Championship play to 11-9, including an 8-3 mark under Scott Drew.
Mark the fifth consecutive postseason appearance in which Baylor has won at least two games.
Make Baylor 17-3 in its five postseason appearances over the last six seasons.
Give Baylor 26 wins, the 3rd-most victories in program history behind only 30 in 2011-12 and 28 in 2009-10.
Make Baylor 41-17 against non-Big 12 teams in games away from the Ferrell Center during the Drew era, including an 18-4 mark since 2011-12 and a 39-13 record since 2007-08.
HALFTIME ADJUSTMENTS PAYING OFF
Baylor has won 94% of its games when leading at the half since 2011-12. The Bears are 60-4 when leading through the first 20 minutes in that stretch, including 17-2 this season, 17-1 in 2012-13 and 26-1 in 2011-12.
BU has won 38% of games in which its been tied or trailing at the half since 2011-12, going 18-29 in those.
BU has led at halftime in 64 of 111 games over the last three seasons. With wins in 60 of those 64 games, and victories in 18 of 47 games it has trailed or been tied at the half, Baylor is 78-33 since 2011-12.
KEYS TO VICTORY
Baylor is 13-0 when recording more assists than its opponent and 12-11 when posting equal/fewer assists.
BU is 25-5 when holding opponents under 50% shooting and 0-6 when allowing 50% or better.
Baylor is 17-3 when recording more points in the paint than opponents and 8-8 with equal/fewer points in paint.
Baylor is 15-2 when attempting fewer than 20 3-pointers and 10-9 when shooting 20+ treys.
BU is 18-3 when holding opponents under 70 points and 7-8 when allowing 70+ points. Conversely, BU is 21-3 when scoring 70+ points and 4-8 when being held under 70 points.
THIRD-BEST SEED IN PROGRAM HISTORY
Baylor's No. 6 seed is the third-best in program history, trailing only the No. 3 seeds from 2010 and 2012.
Baylor was a No. 8 seed in 1980 and a No. 11 seed in 2008, and the Bears lost their first game both times.
The Bears' other three NCAA Tournament appearances came before seeding began in 1979.
Cory Jefferson is the first player in program history to play in three NCAA Tournaments. Prior to this season's tournament, he played in one game during each of Baylor's Elite Eight runs in 2010 and 2012.
Brady Heslip and Gary Franklin were also on Baylor's 2012 Elite Eight team, and Isaiah Austin, Rico Gathers, Taurean Prince and Logan Lowery all picked up postseason experience in last year's NIT.
Royce O'Neale played in two NIT games last year when he was a starting forward for Denver.
DREW IN NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Head coach Scott Drew has a 7-3 record over three NCAA Championship appearances.
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, and he's since become the first coach to lead the Bears to four NCAA Championships.
BAYLOR IN NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Baylor has seven 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.
Baylor's NCAA bids have all come in even-numbered years --1946, 1948, 1950, 1988, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014.
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.
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.
BAYLOR VS. 2014 NCAA FIELD OF 68
Baylor is 12-9 this season against the 12 teams it has faced that are in the 2014 NCAA Championship field.
The Bears faced Colorado (1-0), Dayton (1-0), Iowa State (1-2), Kansas (0-2), Kansas State (2-0), Kentucky (1-0), Louisiana-Lafayette (1-0), Nebraska (1-0), Oklahoma (1-2), Oklahoma State (2-0), Syracuse (0-1) and Texas (1-2).
ANOTHER DREW FIRST
Head coach Scott Drew is the first coach in program history to lead Baylor to six postseason appearances and the first to lead the program to four NCAA Championships.
With his fourth NCAA Championship berth earned at Baylor, Drew passed Bill Henderson, who led the Bears to NCAA Championship berths in 1946, 1948 and 1950.
Drew has led Baylor to NCAA bids in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014, and he took BU to the NIT in 2009 and 2013.
NATION'S BEST POSTSEASON WINNING PERCENTAGE
BU has the nation's best postseason winning percentage over the last six seasons (16-3, .842).
Baylor has won at least three games in each of its last four postseason appearances prior to 2014.
Baylor was the last Texas Division I team (out of 21) playing postseason basketball in each of the last two years.
Baylor is 16-4 in five postseason appearances under Scott Drew -- 7-3 in NCAA Tournament and 9-1 in NIT.
DREW BREAKS SCHOOL WINS RECORD
Scott Drew broke Baylor's school record with his 202nd career win as head coach on March 14 vs. Texas. That win pushed Drew past Bill Henderson (201 wins; 1941-43 and 1945-61) for the all-time wins mark.
Drew's .577 winning percentage is the best ever by a Baylor coach with four or more years at the helm.
WINNING AWAY FROM HOME VS. NON-BIG 12 TEAMS
Baylor is 40-17 against non-Big 12 teams in games away from the Ferrell Center in the Scott Drew era, including a 17-4 record in away games against non-Big 12 teams since 2011-12.
Baylor is 38-13 against non-Big 12 teams away from home since the 2007-08 season (5-1 this year; 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).
BAYLOR MAKES THIRD BIG 12 TITLE GAME RUN
For the third time in six seasons, Baylor advanced to the Big 12 Championship title game. The Bears led most of the way, but they eventually ran out of gas and fell to Iowa State, dropping to 0-3 in Big 12 title games.
The Bears knocked off No.10 seed TCU, No. 2 seed Oklahoma and No. 3 seed Texas before falling to No. 4 ISU.
Baylor has twice advanced to the title game by winning three games, and teams that needed three wins to reach the title game are now 0-5 all-time in the championship game.
HESLIP'S ROLE INCREASING
Brady Heslip has started the last 17 games and played 30+ minutes 16 times (32.4 minutes/game).
Heslip came off the bench and averaged 22.4 minutes per game prior to earning those 16 starts.
Heslip was Baylor's 2nd-leading scorer in Big 12 play, averaging 11.9 points per game.
Heslip has combined to go 60-of-131 (46%) from 3-point range and is averaging 13.0 points in his 17 starts.
CHERY PICKING HIS SPOTS
Point guard Kenny Chery ranks 4th in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.3) and assists (4.9/gm).
Chery has posted a 2-to-1 or better assist-to-turnover ratio in 23 of his last 28 games started. He came off the bench twice while recovering from a turf toe injury and was limited to 9 and 11 minutes in those games, recording 0 assists.
Chery leads the Big 12 lead with an .877 free throw percentage (93-of-106).
Chery made 13 consecutive free throws at Kansas State (3/8), including 10 in the game's final three minutes.
20 WINS = POSTSEASON
With 25 wins this season, Baylor now has nine 20-win seasons in program history, and the Bears have advanced to the postseason in all nine 20-win seasons -- seven times to NCAA Tournament, twice to NIT.
Head coach Scott Drew has led Baylor to 20-win seasons in six of the last seven years after the Bears had only three 20-win seasons in their first 101 seasons of basketball.
Drew is the only Baylor coach to lead the program to six postseason appearances.
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 seven seasons, Baylor has six 20-win campaigns.
Kenny Chery posted the 6th triple-double in Baylor history with 20 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in a career-high 44 minutes of the Bears' double-overtime win vs. K-State on Feb. 15.
Chery's was Baylor's first-ever triple-double in a conference game, and his was the 14th in Big 12 history (7th in conference play). He joined Brian Skinner as the only BU players to score 20 points in a triple-double.
Chery joined David Wesley, Skinner (2), Curtis Jerrells and Ekpe Udoh as the only BU players with triple-doubles.
JEFFERSON AND HESLIP JOIN 1,000-POINT CLUB
Brady Heslip and Cory Jefferson became the 27th and 28th players in program history to reach 1,000 points.
Heslip (1,120 career points) became the 18th player in BU history to reach the milestone in three seasons of play when he achieved the feat on Feb. 22 at West Virginia.
Jefferson (1,130 career points) achieved the feat on Feb. 26 at Texas.
Ten players in the Drew era have reached the milestone: Aaron Bruce, Curtis Jerrells, Henry Dugat, Kevin Rogers, LaceDarius Dunn, Tweety Carter, Quincy Acy, Pierre Jackson, Heslip and Jefferson.
Heslip has a higher career scoring average (10.2--8.8), but Jefferson averages more points per minute (0.45--0.38).
FREE THROWS THE DIFFERENCE IN FIVE CLOSE GAMES
BU lost 66-64 against Oklahoma on Jan. 18, and the Bears shot 50% (10-of-20) at the line in that game.
BU fell 66-64 against West Virginia on Jan. 28, and the Bears shot 61% (14-of-23) at the line in that contest. Baylor also committed 17 turnovers vs. WVU and trailed 18-0 in points off turnovers.
Baylor shot 63% and missed 10 free throws (17-of-27) in a 5-point loss at Texas on Feb. 26. The Bears cut a 15-point halftime deficit to 1 in the final minute, but UT scored the final 4 points, including a pair of free throws.
Baylor shot 70% (13-of-20) in regulation of its double-overtime win vs. K-State on Feb. 15, including 11-of-13 in the 2nd half, when BU had to rally from a 10-point deficit.
Baylor hit its last 17 free throws in a 2-point win at Kansas State on March 8, including 10 by Kenny Chery in the game's final three minutes.
RECENT SUCCESS IN THE BIG 12
Baylor is 62-56 in Big 12 games since 2007-08 and has tallied six of the seven highest Big 12 win totals in program history during that span -- 12 in 2011-12, 11 in 2009-10, 9 in 2007-08, 2012-13 and 2013-14 and 7 in 2010-11.
In the first 11 seasons of the Big 12 Conference, Baylor amassed a 45-131 league record. Prior to Scott Drew's arrival in 2003, Baylor won only 33 Big 12 games in the conference's first seven seasons.
PRINCE EMERGING WITH INCREASED PLAYING TIME
Sophomore forward Taurean Prince played 250 minutes in Big 12 play this season after playing only 42 minutes in conference games last year, including 10 DNPs.
Prince out-scored K-State on his own, 8-5, in the 2nd OT period on Feb. 15. He made all three shots after being held to 4 points in 9 minutes in regulation, and he sat out the entire 1st OT before playing all 5 minutes in the 2nd overtime.
Sophomore power forward Rico Gathers ranks 5th nationally in offensive rebounds per minute (0.16), 4th in offensive rebounding percentage (18.1) and 9th in total rebounds per minutes (0.37).
Gathers has played 1,265 career minutes and grabbed 442 rebounds (0.349/minute). By comparison, Dennis Rodman played 1,155 minutes and had 332 rebounds (0.287/minute) in his rookie season with the Detroit Pistons.
DEPTH ON DISPLAY
Baylor has eight players averaging 14+ minutes per game, all of which have played at least 35 of 36 games.
BU's bench is averaging 23.2 ppg, which is 8.3 points better than opposing benches are averaging against the Bears (14.9). Baylor has only been out-scored in bench points nine times this season.
HESLIP, BAYLOR LEAD BIG 12 IN 3-POINT SHOOTING
Brady Heslip leads the Big 12 in 3-point shooting percentage (.461) and 3-pointers made per game (3.1), providing the majority of Baylor's Big 12-best 39% 3-point shooting as a team.
Heslip's 43.5% career 3-point shooting is the best in program history and ranks 4th all-time among Big 12 Conference players, and with 295 career treys, he ranks 2nd on Baylor's all-time list and 8th on the Big 12 list.
Heslip is responsible for 42% of Baylor's 3-pointers made this season (112-of-267). Gary Franklin is 2nd on the team with 43 3-pointers made, followed by Kenny Chery (34), Royce O'Neale (27), Isaiah Austin (18), Taurean Prince (15) and Cory Jefferson (14).
Heslip and Franklin do most of their damage from long range, with 84% of Heslip's career made field goals from downtown (295-of-352) and 75% of Franklin's field goals made coming from 3-point range (95-of-126).
BEST IN TEXAS
Baylor is 23-4 against in-state opponents since the start of the 2011-12 season, including a 6-3 mark this season. The losses in that stretch came at Texas in 2013 and 2014, at Texas Tech in 2014 and home vs. Texas in 2014.
BU is a combined 37-8 against Lone Star State teams over the last four seasons after going 10-27 vs. in-state teams in Scott Drew's first six seasons at Baylor. (7-1 in 2012-13, 10-0 in 2011-12, 5-3 in 2010-11, 9-1 in 2009-10).
AUSTIN OWNING THE PAINT
Sophomore center Isaiah Austin leads the Big 12 in blocks per game (3.1), which is a significant improvement from his 1.7 blocks per game from a season ago, despite playing 2.0 fewer minutes per game.
Austin shattered the Big 12 Championship record by blocking 18 shots in the year's event (previous record was 11). His performance in the paint was a key factor in Austin being named to the Big 12 All-Tournament team.
Austin had a career-high 9 blocks vs. K-State on Feb. 15, tying the most ever by a BU player in a conference game.
WINNING BATTLE OF THE BOARDS
BU has been out-rebounded just eight times in 36 games this season.
The Bears have grabbed 40+ rebounds in 16 games, and with wins in 13 of those 16, BU is now 77-20 in the Drew era when recording 40 or more rebounds in a game.
The Bears' frontcourt tandem of Cory Jefferson (8.4), Rico Gathers (6.4), Isaiah Austin (5.6) and Royce O'Neale (5.4) combine to average 26.1 rebounds per game, including 9.8 offensive rebounds per game.
Gathers ranks 5th nationally in offensive rebounds per minute (0.16) and 9th in total rebounds per minute (0.37).
MULTIPLE AP TOP 25 WINS IN SEVEN STRAIGHT SEASONS
Baylor has won multiple games vs. AP Top 25 teams in each of the last seven seasons.
Prior to winning multiple games vs. ranked teams in each of the last seven seasons, Baylor had only four seasons with multiple AP Top 25 victories in its first 101 years of basketball (1958-59, 1981-82, 1996-97, 2000-01).
This season, BU won vs. No. 3 Kentucky (AT&T Stadium; Arlington), at No. 8 Oklahoma State, vs. No. 16 Iowa State and vs. No. 17 Oklahoma (Sprint Center; Kansas City).
The Bears are 18-38 vs. AP Top 25 teams since 2007-08 after going 17-122 in their first 101 seasons.
Baylor is 35-160 all-time against AP Top 25 teams (4-8 this season).
Last season, the Bears won at No. 8 Kentucky on Dec. 1 and vs. No. 4 Kansas on March 9.
Baylor has enjoyed unprecedented success in the last seven seasons under 11th-year head coach Scott Drew. Since the start of the 2007-08 season, Baylor is 169-80 (24 wins per season) and has made six postseason appearances (2008 NCAA, 2009 NIT, 2010 NCAA, 2012 NCAA, 2013 NIT, 2014 NCAA) and posted six 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 13 postseason appearances (six under Drew) and won 20+ games just nine times (six under Drew) in the program's first 108 seasons.
JEFFERSON AND AUSTIN CLIMBING BLOCKS CHART
Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin are both in the top 5 in program history in blocked shots.
Austin is 3rd with 2.44 blocks per game and Jefferson is 5th at 1.29 blocks per game.
Austin's 173 blocks rank 3rd in program history, just 4 back of Quincy Acy (177) in 2nd place. Jefferson's 165 blocks are 4th-most in BU history and 12 behind Acy.
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.
All games are broadcast by the "Voice of the Bears" John Morris and former Baylor basketball standout Pat Nunley. Morris is in his 26th year doing Baylor broadcasts, while Nunley is in his 31st season as color analyst.
The Baylor-Creighton winner will advance to the West Regional Semifinals in Anaheim, Calif., which will be played Friday at a time to be determined.
The Baylor-Creighton winner will face the winner of Oregon vs. Wisconsin in the Sweet 16.
Baylor has never played Oregon or Wisconsin. The Bears are 15-20 all-time against current Big Ten Conference teams and 24-41 all-time against current Pac-12 Conference members.