For the second consecutive year, Scott Drew and his Baylor Bears have been knocked out by a lower seed in the Men’s NCAA basketball tournament.
The 5th-ranked Bears suffered a loss to the 12th-ranked Yale Bulldogs, 79-75, in Thursday’s West Region opening round games.
— CBS Sports CBB (@CBSSportsCBB) March 17, 2016
Yale has had a 54-year absence from the NCAA tournament and what’s even more surprising is that the Bulldogs have never won an NCAA tournament game. Not once until today.
Coming out of the Ivy League, who were 3-3 in its last six first-round games, the Bulldogs were the only team from their conference to make the tournament, and came out strong against a Baylor team that had plenty of doubters coming into the tournament.
The Bulldogs were able to connect on 53.1 percent of their field goals, while holding the West region’s 5th-ranked Bears to 44.1 percent.
The Ivy League representative was led by sophomore guard Makai Mason and senior forward Justin Sears who contributed 31 and 18 points, respectively. Mason’s 31 were also a career high and the most by any player so far in this season’s tournament.
Baylor finished the regular season with a 22-11 season out of the Big 12 conference and were led by forward T Prince who dropped 28 points against a disciplined Bulldogs team that were just hungrier and seemed more in control than the Bears Thursday afternoon.
Yale led for most of the game, leading by as much as 12 points in the second half, but Baylor made it close in the closing minutes. The Bears came within one point with nine seconds to go, but Yale was able to stay composed and knock down clutch free-throws to secure the win and move on to the next round for the first time in their academically storied school history.
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) March 17, 2016
Baylor’s loss highlights its continual struggle to solidify itself as a top-tier team in recent years despite quality players. Many fans and critics strongly see the Bears conference, Big 12, as an overrated one that is given bonus points due to its opportunity to face up against national powerhouse Kansas, who is consistently in the run for a national title.
After the Yale upset, only 5.8 percent of CBS NCAA tournament brackets remain perfect despite the tournament only being in its first day. President Obama completed his own bracket earlier this week, and predicted the Kansas Jayhawks to come out on top in a matchup against Tom Izzo’s Michigan State Spartans. The 44th President correctly picked North Carolina in his first year in office back in 2009 and has yet to select a winner since.
The Yale Bulldogs now move onto the second round and will go on to face the 4th-ranked Duke Blue Devils, who had trouble pulling out a 93-85 win over the 13 seed, UNC Wilmington, earlier Thursday.
And while the Bulldogs are a fresh face to the big dance, legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski and his Blue Devils are a frequent to March Madness and are also the defending National Champions. The majority believe the Devils are a long shot to repeat as champs, however, and most expect the number one overall seed of the tourney, The Kansas Jayhawks, to cut down the nets in Houston, TX.