How Elite is is for the Baylor Bears

The Baylor Bears had everything go right Friday night as they took on the St. Mary's Gaels in the Sweet 16 in front of the largest contingent of Baylor fans to ever watch a Baylor basketball game.

Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, now known amongst Baylor fans as the place where the Baylor Bears won their first Sweet 16 game. The Bears demolished the St. Mary's Gaels 72-49 in a game that was not even that close.

At one point leading by as much as 35 in the second half, this NCAA Tournament game between Baylor and St. Mary's felt more like a 1 seed playing a 16, rather than an underappreciated favorite playing a media darling.

But just as Ekpe Udoh had said the previous day, the Bears were there on business, and they took care of it early, racing out to a 46-17 lead by halftime.

Baylor was led in the scoring department by junior guard Lacedarius Dunn, who had 23 points, 2 rebounds, and 3 assists to lead the way for Baylor. Dunn was joined once again by Tweety Carter, who dropped 14 points on the Gaels.

Coming in as one of the best 3 point shooting teams in America, St. Mary's was held to 27.3% from 3 point range as they struggled to find their mark shooting over the long arms of Baylor's zone. Mr. Personality Omar Samhan had a tough last game to end his career, struggling the entire game before getting a few buckets in garbage time to total 15 points on the day.

Much of the reason Samhan struggled was the sound defensive play of Ekpe Udoh, Josh Lomers, and Quincy Acy. Not only did those 3 limit the inside attack of St. Mary's, but they controlled the glass combining for 24 boards, just 1 shy of the total by the entire team of St. Mary's.

Next up for Baylor is #1 seed Duke, who won their third straight tournament game by double digits and would love nothing more than to get back to the Final 4. It should be a good game between two hot teams, and will once again be played in front of an enormous Baylor-friendly crowd in Houston.

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