DENVER — For the fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, the Baylor Bears have advanced on the bracket.
No. 3-seed Baylor beat No. 14-seed UC-Santa Barbara 74-56 in a South Region 1st-round game inside Ball Arena in Denver.
The game was back-and-forth until there were about 16-1/2 minutes left in the second half, when Baylor took its final lead of the day.
In the final 17:51 of the game, BU held the Gauchos to just 15 points until the final horn.
Adam Flagler scored a game-high 18 points for the Bears, with LJ Cryer (15) and Caleb Lohner (13) also scoring in double digits for BU.
The Bears, recently plagued by rebounding, won the rebounding battle 26-22 against a Gauchos team which was best in the Big West Conference at preventing opponent rebounds.
Baylor will face 6th-seeded Creighton in the second round Sunday. That tip time will be announced Friday night.