It looked like another Big 12 game was going down to the wire as Baylor and No. 16 Iowa State were deadlocked at 61 with 2:14 remaining. Then senior guard Brady Heslip continued his strong second half with a three-pointer that put Baylor on a 13-0 run to close out the game and the Bears picked up a crucial 74-61 home Big 12 win.
The victory for Baylor bolsters its NCAA Tournament hopes as the Bears have now won seven of eight games after starting 2-8 in Big 12 play.
Heslip finished with 18 points and knocked in all five of his three-pointers in the second half as the game featured 15 lead changes and four ties. Cory Jefferson finished with 21 points and seven rebounds to lead the Bears while Kenny Chery added 16 points.
It continued a trend in which the Big 12’s top eight teams beat up on each other at home as Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa State and Kansas State sit between second and fifth place in the conference at six and seven conference losses. Baylor and Oklahoma State are likely NCAA Tournament teams with nine conference losses.
For a conference that many have called the best in the country, how can we really tell how good the league is if everyone keeps beating each other? Kansas has played a ridiculous non-conference schedule and sits three full games ahead of second place in the Big 12, so we probably have a pretty good feel for the Jayhawks, but as for the rest of the Big 12, do we really know how good these teams are heading into March?
I guess we can only wait and see how the NCAA Tournament plays out to find out the answer to that question.