Top 10 Moments In Baylor's Basketball Season

In a season that translates into the most successful in school history, the Baylor Bears men's basketball team had numerous high points throughout the season on their path to the Elite Eight. In a not-so-original format, here are my thoughts on Baylor's Top 10 moments of the basketball season.

10. BaylorNation Meet Ekpe Udoh

Later he became known as "The Nightmare". But on November 15th, 2009, Baylor forward Ekpe Udoh was just another Bear trying to find a way to beat Hartford in the 2nd game of the season. The transfer from Michigan was known for his great defense, but it was his effort on the offensive side of things that led Baylor to an exciting buzzer-beating finish. With the game tied and just a few seconds left to go in the game, Udoh got the ball in the corner and was immediately double-teamed. With the game seemingly headed to overtime, Udoh decided to end it in regulation. With a fade away jumper from the corner, Udoh got the ball off and nailed the shot to win the game as the buzzer sounded. 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 blocked shots was his line for the game. And "The Nightmare" became an instant crowd favorite.

9. Baylor Beats Xavier in Old Spice Classic

Baylor came into the game 5-1 overall, and they were facing a very good Xavier team in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Florida. Baylor senior guard Tweety Carter had a fantastic early season performance dropping 27 points on the Musketeers. Carter drained 6 3-point buckets in the contest, and the Bears began to open some eyes. Xavier eventually made a run to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament.

8. Bears End Streak Against Sooners in Blowout Fashion

The Bears had not defeated the Oklahoma Sooners in 30 years. Baylor and Oklahoma would meet in the Big 12 Conference opener in Waco, Texas on January 9th, 2010. The Bears were 12-1 overall coming into the game, and the Baylor faithful knew this would be a true test of just how good this Baylor team was. Scott Drew and his team answered the call. In a game-long highlight reel for the Bears, Baylor blew the Sooners away, 91-60. Baylor junior guard LaceDarius Dunn scored 28 points on the night, Tweety Carter recorded a double double, and this Baylor team got another monkey off their back.

7. Baylor, ranked #24, Defeats Nebraska in Nail-biter

In a low-scoring contest, the Baylor Bears were trying to avoid a 5 game Big 12 North losing streak. With the Bears trailing by 1 point, Ekpe Udoh got the ball on the low-post, and hit a hook shot with 25 seconds remaining in the game to put the Bears up 54-53. After a Bears successful free throw, the Huskers had the ball down 2 with the game clock under 20 seconds. Enter Quincy Acy. Nebraska guard Lance Jeter got the ball beyond the arc with time winding down. Jeter's 3 point attempt would have put the Huskers ahead if it went it. But Acy never gave Jeter a chance. Acy blocked Jeter's buzzer-beater long distance attempt, and the Bears left Lincoln with another 'W'.

6. Baylor Beats Longhorns In Austin In Overtime Thriller

Baylor had not defeated the Texas Longhorns in Austin since 1998. On January 30th, 2010, the Bears headed south 90 miles to take on the then 6th ranked Texas Longhorns. The Bears looked like they may be close to ending the streak as they held a 14 point lead. However, the Longhorns chipped away and eventually took a 2 point lead with 16 seconds left. The Bears brought the ball down the court and looked for one of their hot shooting guards. However, the ball ended up in big man Ekpe Udoh's control and he hoisted a 3 point prayer. Now, for the record, Udoh was 0-10 from the field and had been a non-factor on offense for the Bears. Udoh's shot was so far off the mark, Bears forward Anthony Jones who was standing next to the basket became the beneficiary of being at the right place at the right time. The ball landed in Jones' hands and he laid the ball in to send the game into overtime. In overtime, Udoh scored the extra period's first 7 points, and Baylor freshman guard A.J. Walton hit some big free throws down the stretch as the Bears defeated the Texas Longhorns, 80-77.

5. Bears Extend Winning Streak Against Longhorns to 4 Games

In the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 conference Tournament, the Baylor Bears took on the Texas Longhorns once again. Now let me set the stage for you. The Bears had won 3 straight against the Longhorns dating back to last season. In addition, the Bears embarrassed the Horns just 5 days earlier, 92-77. In that game, Baylor forward Quincy Acy recorded 10 dunks in a highlight reel to be shown over and over on ESPN Top 10 plays. The Bears had swept the season series, and Scott Drew and his team once again were facing Rick Barnes and his team. The Bears decided to put an exclamation point on this game as well. With outstanding performances from the Baylor Tri-fecta (Tweety Carter, LaceDarius Dunn, and Ekpe Udoh), the Bears won the game 86-67. With the victory, the Bears beat the Longhorns 3 times in the same season, and also extended their winning streak against Texas to 4 games.

4. Bears earn #3 seed in NCAA Tournament

The Bears let their record, RPI, and SOS do the talking. Because of their resume, the Baylor Bears were rewarded with a #3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. More importantly, however, the Bears' two starting guards would be able to play in front of their friends and families in their home state of Louisiana. The Bears were sent to New Orleans for their 1st round game, and Tweety Carter and LaceDarius Dunn would get the chance to do something that no Baylor team had done in 60 years; win a game in the NCAA Tournament.

3. Baylor Advances to the Sweet 16

After defeating Sam Houston State in their 1st round game in the NCAA Tournament, the only thing that stood in the way of their 1st ever Sweet 16 appearance was Old Dominion. With Josh Lomers, Baylor's 7-foot senior big man, facing the possibility of playing in his last game wearing the green and gold, he took control of the game and led his team to victory. Lomers scored 12 2nd half points and tied his career high with 14 points before fouling out late in the contest. However, LaceDarius Dunn's 26 points, and Tweety Carter's 12 points, 8 assists, and 0 turnovers were too much for Old Dominion to handle. The Bears defeated the Monarchs, 76-68, and would head to Houston for their first ever Sweet 16 game in school history.

2. Baylor Bears' Fans Turn Out In Record Fashion To Watch Baylor Advance To Elite 8

After their Sweet 16 victory, the Bears learned their next opponent would be the St. Mary's Gaels. For a week, national media and more talking heads proclaimed the Cinderella Gaels would take care of Baylor to advance to the Elite 8. Also of note, those same talking heads began to talk about Baylor not having fans that traveled well, and Houston not being a home-court advantage. They could not have been more wrong. As the Bears took the floor at Reliant Stadium in Houston to face the Gaels, the force of BaylorNation was felt. Occupying most of the lower bowl, the green and gold clad Baylor fans traveled from all over to watch history in the making. The Baylor players gave their fans one heck of a show. The Bears erased all doubt about who the better team was on the floor jumping out to an incredible 46-17 lead at halftime. A perfect half of basketball was followed by a standing ovation from over 40,000 Baylor fans in attendance as the team headed to the locker room. The Bears cruised to an easy victory, and would eventually advance to the Elite 8 to face the Duke Blue Devils.

1. Seniors Tweety Carter and Josh Lomers Get Standing Ovation In Last Collegiate Game

The Bears led the Duke Blue Devils,61-60, with under 4 minutes to play. And although the Bears fell just shy of advancing to their 1st Final Four since 1950, the Bears put on a valiant effort in front of a large live and television audience. While the Bears fell, 78-71, the fans rose to their feet in appreciation of Baylor seniors Tweety Carter and Josh Lomers. As Carter and Lomers left the floor for the last time, Baylor fans cheered until both players were out of sight and inside their team's locker room.

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