Sweet 16 - March 29 (Saturday) Joyce Center - Notre Dame, Ind. No. 2 Baylor vs. No. 3 Kentucky - ESPN/WatchESPN - 11 a.m. (CT) No. 1 Notre Dame vs. No. 5 Oklahoma State - ESPN/WatchESPN - 1:30 p.m. (CT)
Elite Eight - March 31 (Monday) Game 1 winner vs. game 2 winner - ESPN/WatchESPN - 6:30 p.m. (CT)
Baylor in the NCAA Tournament... Baylor is competing in its 11th straight and 13th all-time NCAA Tournament, as all appearances have come since head coach Kim Mulkey assumed the program’s helm. BU is 32-10 (.762) in NCAA Tournament play, including 12-1 in first round games, 9-3 in second round games, 4-4 in the Sweet 16, 3-1 in the Elite Eight, 2-1 in the national semifinals and 2-0 in championship games. BU has won its Sweet 16 game in three of its last four tournaments and four times overall.
No. 5/6 Baylor Plays No. 10/11 Kentucky in NCAA Championship Sweet 16...
The fifth-ranked Baylor Lady Bears are competing in the NCAA Championship for the third time in program history as one of the tournament’s four No. 2 seeds.
The Lady Bears will take on the third-seeded Kentucky Wildcats in Sweet 16 action and if victorious will advance to the tournament’s Elite Eight for the fifth time in program history.
Baylor advanced to the Sweet 16 with Ferrell Center wins over Western Kentucky (87-74) and California (75-56) while the Kentucky Wildcats posted homecourt first- and second-round victories over Wright State (106-60) and Syracuse (64-59).
The third-seeded Wildcats, 26-8 overall, advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 64-59 win over sixth-seeded Syracuse. Kentucky earned its school-record fifth straight bid to the NCAA Tournament, and 11th overall, with a No. 3 seed in the Notre Dame Regional. UK is 16-10 all-time in the Big Dance, including 12-4 under head coach Matthew Mitchell. Kentucky’s best finishes came in 2013, 2012, 2010 and 1982 when the Wildcats fell one win shy of the Final Four. Last season UK advanced to the Elite Eight.
Saturday’s contest marks the second time the two teams have met this season, Kentucky posted a quadruple overtime (133-130) victory over Baylor on Dec. 6 in Arlington, Texas. The combined total of 263 points set an NCAA Division I women’s record for most points in an overtime game.
National Player of the Year Candidate Odyssey Sims, a 5-8 senior guard, is averaging 28.5 ppg, which ranks No. 2 nationally, as well as 4.5 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 2.0 steals. She is shooting .445 from the floor, .402 from 3-point range and .806 from the free throw line.
Sims, with 996 points in 2013-14, is four points shy of becoming just the second NCAA Division I women’s player to score over 1,000 points in a season. Jackie Stiles (Missouri State) set the record in the 2000-01 season with 1,062 points.
Sims, with 628 career assists and 254 treys, ranks No. 1 in both categories on Baylor’s all-time list.
Sims’ 94 made treys this season shattered Emily Niemann’s BU single-season record of 75 (2003-04).
Sims has scored a Big 12 record 996 points as a senior which ranks No. 4 on BU’s single-season list. Suzie Snider Eppers, who played her entire career under AIAW guidelines, holds the top three spots.
Sims’ season average (28.5 ppg) is well ahead of both the BU (24.6 ppg, Suzie Snider Eppers, 1976-77) and Big 12 (26.7 ppg, OSU’s Andrea Riley, 2010) season marks. The NCAA Division I women’s single-season record is 1,062 points by Missouri State’s Jackie Stiles in 2000-01 while the Big 12 mark of 929 was held by Baylor’s Brittney Griner over 40 games in 2011-12.
National Freshman of the Year candidate Nina Davis, a 5-11 freshman forward/post, is averaging 15.1 points per game and ranks No. 3 nationally and leads the Big 12 Conference in field goal shooting at 61.3 (201-328) percent. She is leading the league in rebounding at 8.9 per contest, including 3.9 offensive boards per game. Against ranked opponents this season, Davis is averaging 15.1 ppg and 11.6 rpg while shooting 56.3 percent from the field.
Niya Johnson, a 5-7 guard, ranks No. 1 nationally in assist/turnover ratio at 4.1 per contest, dishing out 231 assists with only 57 turnovers, and is No. 12 nationally in assists per game (6.6). Johnson has five double-digit assist games to her credit this season (14 vs. San Jose State, 11 vs. #5 Kentucky, 12 vs. #12 Oklahoma State, 10 vs. Iowa State and 11 vs. Cal).
Johnson became the program’s single-season leader, with 231 breaking Sheila Lambert’s (2001-02) record of 216. In addition, Johnson has averaged 7.5 apg over the past 10 games.
Sune Agbuke, a 6-5 junior, has 102 career blocks to rank No. 10 on BU’s career chart. With 68 blocks this season, Agbuke ranks No. 9 on Baylor’s single-season block list.
In her 14 seasons at the program's helm, Kim Mulkey has posted an impressive 403-85 (.826) record which ranks her No. 2 nationally in winning percentage among active coaches behind UConn’s Geno Auriemma (.864).
The ONLY women’s basketball coach, and one of only three in men’s and women’s basketball (joining Bob Knight and Dean Smith), who have won a national championship as both a player and coach.
The ONLY basketball coach to win a national championship as a head coach, assistant coach and player.
The first individual ever to play for a women’s team ranked No. 1 among AP voters while also later becoming coach of a team selected to No. 1.
Baylor is One of Just...
Baylor is one of six schools with both men’s and women’s basketball teams in the NCAA Championship Sweet 16. BU is joined by UConn, Louisville, Kentucky, Stanford and Tennessee.
Baylor is one of two schools, Stanford being the other, with both men’s and women’s teams in the Sweet 16 and football going to a BCS bowl.
40 Times Four...
Odyssey Sims has scored 40 or more points four times this season, former Lady Bear standout Brittney Griner recorded five 40-point efforts in her career.
Sims scored 40-plus on the road three times (47 vs. Kentucky, 40 at Kansas State, 48 at West Virginia) and poured in 44 vs. Texas in the Ferrell Center, Feb. 1.
Nina Davis, an undersized post player at 5-11, has recorded 12 double-doubles as a rookie. She leads the Big 12 in rebounding (8.9 rpg) and ranks No. 1 among the league’s freshmen in scoring with 15.1 ppg.
43.7 percent (136-311) of Davis’ rebounds are off the offensive glass. She averages 3.8 offensive rebounds a game.
Davis has recorded double-digit scoring in 30 of Baylor’s 35 contests and leads the league and ranks No. 3 nationally in field goal percentage, hitting 61.3 percent of her shots.
Davis has hauled down a career-high 17 rebounds on three occasions this season; vs. top-ranked UConn, at No. 8 Oklahoma State and vs. Texas.
Davis has been named Big 12 Freshman of the Week seven times this season.
Against ranked opponents this season, Davis is averaging 15.1 ppg and 11.6 rpg and is shooting 56.3 percent from the field.
National Player of the Year contender and Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year Odyssey Sims, a 5-8 senior guard, is averaging 28.5 points per game, which ranks No. 2 nationally, as well as 4.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.9 steals.
On the boards, freshman forward/post Nina Davis leads the team with 9.0 rpg while junior post Sune Agbuke (6-4) follows with 7.6 and outing.
Sophomore guard Niya Johnson is the team’s top distributor and ranks No. 12 nationally and No. 1 in the Big 12, averaging 6.5 assists an outing while Sims follows with 4.5 a game. Johnson leads the nation in assist/turnover ratio at 4.0.
Johnson became the program’s single-season assist leader, she now has 220 while Sheila Lambert (2001-02) held the record at 216 in 33 games. In addition, Johnson has averaged 7.1 apg over the past nine games and 8.3 ppg over the past seven contests.
The series is tied at 1-1, the Lady Bears defeated Kentucky on Nov. 13 last season in Waco, 85-51 and the Wildcats posted a quadruple overtime win in Arlington, Texas, on Dec. 6, 133-130.