WACO, Texas –
After returning to the Sweet
16 for a third time in the last five seasons, Baylor men's basketball
was ranked No. 18 in the final
USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll released Tuesday. Baylor finished No. 23 in the AP Top 25 released on March 17.
The Bears' No. 18 coaches' poll ranking was the third-highest final ranking in program history, trailing only the Elite Eight seasons of 2012 (No. 8) and 2010 (No. 10). Baylor's No. 23 ranking in the AP poll was also its third-highest, trailing 2012 (No. 9) and 2010 (No. 19).
Baylor finished the season 26-12, recording the third-most wins in a season in program history. The Bears rebounded from a 2-8 start to Big 12 Conference play to close the season with wins in 12 of their last 15 games, including the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament win over a higher-seeded team.
The Bears beat No. 3 seed Creighton, 85-55, to advance to the Sweet 16, and BU also earned an NCAA Tournament victory over No. 11 Nebraska, 74-60, in the second round. Baylor's season ended with a 69-52 loss to No. 2 seed Wisconsin in the West Regional semifinals, and the Badgers went on to earn a spot in the Final Four.
Head coach Scott Drew also became Baylor's all-time wins leader when he recorded his 202nd victory with the program in a Big 12 Championship semifinal win against Texas on March 14. That victory advanced the Bears to the Big 12 Championship title game for the third time in the last six seasons.
The Bears are now 17-4 in postseason play over the last six seasons, which is the nation's second-best postseason winning percentage in that span, trailing only Connecticut's 17-3 record. Only Kentucky (20) and North Carolina (18) have more postseason wins in the last six years than Baylor. The Bears' 17-4 record included 8-3 in the NCAA Tournament and 9-1 in the NIT.
Baylor is one of only 12 teams nationally to advance to three Sweet 16s in the last five seasons, joining Arizona, Duke, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Marquette, Michigan State, Ohio State, Syracuse and Wisconsin.
For updates throughout the offseason, follow the official Baylor men's basketball Twitter account, @BaylorMBB.