Baylor men’s basketball fans have waited 71 years to see their beloved Bears make it back to the Final Four! The long drought ended on Monday night after Baylor disposed of the #3 seeded Arkansas Razorbacks by a nine point margin. Baylor’s star guards, MaCio Teague and Jared Butler, combined for 36 points and 8 boards to lead the Bears to their first Final Four appearance since 1950 (Bleacher Report)!
Although some basketball purists may argue that fellow #1 seeds Gonzaga and Michigan may have more talent, Baylor has a legitimate shot at the National Title. Here are three reasons why Baylor will win the NCAA Tournament.
- Jared Butler Can Do It All
Jared Butler may only be 6-3, but his heart, talent, and hustle makes him play like he’s 7-foot tall. If you have been hiding under a rock and have not had a chance to see Butler play this year, you are in for a real treat in the Final Four! To put it simply, this kid can do it all.
In fact, Butler was named a finalist for the prestigious John Wooden Award. The is the first Baylor player in school history to be a Wooden finalist. Butler ranks #1 in the Big12 in steals and three point percentage (baylorbears.com). Hailing from Reserve Louisiana, Butler leads the Bears in points per game with 16.5 each time out.
- Baylor has the Best Guards of all Remaining Teams
Butler may be a stud at guard for Baylor, but do not forget about MaCio Teague and Davion Mitchell. Teague and Mitchell are both dynamite scorers in their own right and along with Butler, form the best guard trio in the country. What is impressive about these three guards is that they all share the basketball really well.
All season long, if one of Baylor’s guards was having an off night shooting the ball, the other two seemed to pick up their performances. Mitchell knows how to dish the rock as he averages 5.3 assists per game (ESPN). Teague is second on the team in scoring with 15.9 points per contest.
- Baylor is one of the Best in the Nation in Turnover Margin
Baylor coach Scott Drew has always preached the importance of a stout defense. The Bears defense has been suffocating their opponents the entire season. In fact, Baylor ranks third in the country in turnover margin with +5.6 (NCAA.com).
Baylor knows how to put the right amount of pressure on the opposing team’s offense. The Bears also know how to take good care of the basketball on offense. These two keys will be a huge advantage for the Bears in the upcoming Final Four.
How will Baylor do in their semi finals matchup against Houston? The oddsmakers have opened up Baylor as a five point favorite for when the two heavyweight teams collide on Saturday night. Which Baylor superstar guard will step up and lead the way?