No. 20 Baylor shot 65.3 percent in the second half, erasing a 22-point first half deficit to knock off No. 10 Louisville, 66-63, in the title game of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
The Bears were flummoxed by the Louisville defense for much of the first half, digging themselves a 32-10 hole and finding themselves down 39-24 at halftime. The second half was a different story, however, as Johnathan Motley began to assert himself while the Cardinals seemingly forgot how to protect the ball; Baylor took their first lead of the game – with less than four minutes left – on back-to-back turnovers that led to pick-six layups.
It’s a disappointing loss for Louisville, who struggled in their opener against Old Dominion as well, but this is yet another promising performance for the Bears, who have been the most surprising team in the country this season.
Baylor has now beaten Oregon at home and picked up three impressive wins – VCU, No. 24 Michigan State and the Cardinals – during their three days in the Bahamas. They are the only team in the country has four top 40 KenPom wins, and while it’s still too early to totally rely on KenPom’s rankings (it’s normally not until the new year when his formula stops including projections based on last season), it is a solid gauge for just how good the Bears have been.
This was a team that was not even considered to be a lock to make the NCAA tournament prior to the season, and here we are two weeks in and they’re the consensus second-best team in the Big 12 for anyone that lives outside of Ames, Iowa.
Almost as impressive as erasing a 22-point deficit against a Louisville team that can be a nightmare to try and run offense against.