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How Baylor Basketball Got To March Madness

Despite having two future NBA lottery picks, a series of bizarre coaching decisions has Baylor stumbling into the NCAA Tournament after a 16-0 start to the season.

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On Jan. 16, Baylor was 16-0 and ranked No. 3 in the country. That night, Kansas embarrassed them 92-74 in Lawrence on national television, and it's been all downhill for them since.

With a front court that features two lottery picks (6-foot-11 sophomore Perry Jones III and 6-foot-9 freshman Quincy Miller) as well as another potential NBA draft pick in 6-foot-7 senior Quincy Acy, the Bears are one of the most talented teams in the country.

However, coach Scott Drew has somewhat inexplicably allowed 5-foot-10 junior college transfer Pierre Jackson to take over the offense. Even more bizarrely, despite having elite athletes at every position, he's used a 1-3-1 half-court defense which can't put any ball pressure on opposing guards and leaves the easiest three-point shot in the game (the corner) wide open.

As the Big 12 season progressed, and the scouting report on Baylor became widespread, the Bears went 8-6, dropping all four games against Missouri and Kansas, the only two teams in the conference with even comparable talent.

Baylor entered the Big 12 tournament as the No. 4 seed, earning a first-round bye. After downing Kansas State 82-74 in the quarterfinals, they at least partially redeemed themselves against Kansas, winning 81-72. In the final against Missouri, however, it was the same old story as the Tigers rolled to a 90-75 victory.

With a long, athletic and talented roster that features as many as five future pros, Baylor will be an extremely tough out. But unless Scott Drew can make some adjustments, it will be way earlier than many expected at the season's halfway point.

The Bears are the No. 3 seed in the South Region and will face South Dakota State in the Second Round.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.