Remember the other day when I wrote about the Baylor Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams dominating their opponents in the first round of the NCAA tournament (read about their performances here!)? Wasn’t that fun? Didn’t we all think/believe/hope that their success would continue through the second round? I know I did! Sadly, both the No. 1 Men and No. 2 Women dropped their second round games to their lower ranked opponents in quite spectacular fashion. In the East Region, the top-seeded men fell to No. 8 North Carolina, 93-86 in Fort Worth, while the second-ranked women uncharacteristically lost 61-47 to No. 10 South Dakota here in Waco.
The Baylor Men’s team were down to the Tar Heels the entire game and almost completed a nearly 30-point comeback, but just fell short. The Bears had one of the largest comebacks in March Madness history despite multiple players struggling with injury and illnesses. Junior G Adam Flagler led the team with 27 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. Senior Gs James Akinjo had 20 points with 4 rebounds and 5 assists and Matthew Mayer recorded 10 points and 3 rebounds. Freshman F Jeremy Sochan had the team’s only double-double on 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 assists. In two halves and one overtime, the team shot 34.6% (28-81) of field goals, 24.3% (9-37) of 3s, and 77.8% (21-27) of free throws.
The Women’s team played similarly one day later in their round of 32 against the Coyotes. Having a limited roster is difficult enough, but the game is obviously much more difficult to win when the shots just aren’t falling. Senior C Queen Egbo had a team-high 13 points and 7 rebounds and star senior F NaLyssa Smith joined her as the only other double-digit scorer with 10 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists. After four quarters, the Bears totaled 31.5% (17-54) of field goals, 19.2% (5-26) of 3s, and 66.7% (8-12) of free throws.
No matter what, we’re still proud of both the Men’s and Women’s teams for fighting through tough seasons! I can’t wait for next year!