I learned that the Baylor Bears (players and coaches) believe that they need to make the Big 12 championship game to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
"Baylor must win its pool to have even a chance of an at-large bid, but realistically the Bears probably must capture the automatic bid to continue their season. They do have a solid RPI, but their horrid stretch run, 10-16 conference record and 27-23 overall mark speak far more loudly."
As for me, I'm not convinced (yet) that the Bears have to sweep through Division 1 of the tournament
to punch a ticket to the Field of 64. Here's why.
has Baylor's RPI
at 33. Obviously, that's Top 64 at-large quality. The Bears' STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
is 10th best in the nation. That ranking will go up even higher after this weekend.
BU's three opponents in the Big 12 Tournament...Texas (RPI #3), Kansas State (RPI #27), and Kansas (RPI #43) are each Top 50 teams.
I think Baylor must beat Texas. Then, if the Bears go 1-and-1 against K-State and KU...they won't be guaranteed a spot in the title game, but they'll have a 29-and-24 overall record, plus two more Top 50 wins, and a Top 5 or 6 strength of schedule.
In my mind, that's good enough to earn a 3-seed in a regional.
had Baylor in the NCAA tournament as a 3-seed BEFORE getting swept last weekend at Nebraska.
-- Steve Smith delivered the most entertaining (and it wasn't even close) speech at the media luncheon today.
-- Baylor expects Big 12 Pitcher of the Year A.J. Morris to start against the Bears on Thursday.
-- BU's rotation is Logan Verrett vs Texas, Aaron Miller vs K-State, and TBA vs Kansas.
-- Texas and Baylor are tied for the 2nd-most victories in the Big 12 tournament (20). Nebraska is number 1 with 28.
-- K-State, Baylor, and Missouri are the only teams in this year's tournament to never win a Big 12 postseason title.
-- Expect to see Kendal Volz come out of the bullpen against Texas on Wednesday and maybe against K-State, too. Should the Bears make the title game on Sunday, Volz would probably get the start.