<
>

Half: Baylor 43, Texas 39

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The first half has made something a bit clearer:

The four best teams have a shot to be in the semifinals.

Kansas, Texas A&M and Kansas State are already in the semifinals Friday. If Baylor holds onto to beat Texas, then that says as much about Baylor as it does how far the Longhorns have fallen this season. Texas hasn’t played like it belongs in the category of being among the four best.

The Texas scenario has played itself out. And it’s becoming more obvious when you see the Longhorns against Baylor. The Longhorns simply aren’t as talented as Baylor right now or at least don't t play with the same quick first step.

Every time it appeared Texas was ready to push Baylor, the Bears responded with an Ekpe Udoh bucket or a Tweety Carter response.

Baylor isn’t doing too many things wrong here. The Bears made 11 of 12 free throws, converted key 3s (four) and shot nearly 50 percent, despite getting outrebounded by nine.

LaceDarius Dunn was a non-factor with three fouls, but the Bears didn’t seem to miss him in taking a 43-39 lead at the half.

Texas is still a team of parts, none that seem to fit together anymore. They are spotty with Damion James giving Texas his necessary scoring pop with 16 points and now suddenly Avery Bradley being an effective scorer again with 12. But that’s about it for consistency. You never get the feeling like you can count on enough players with the Longhorns.

Watch Baylor and you feel like they belong in the elite. This could be a precursor to a decent run by the Bears this month.