Baylor Men's Basketball 2020 NCAA Tournament Capsule


Baylor Bears

Big 12 (26-4, 15-3)

Scott Drew has done a phenomenal job since arriving at Baylor in 2003. The Bears have been to four Sweet Sixteen’s and two Elite Eight’s under Drew, but this year’s squad is his best team yet. The highest seed Baylor had received under Drew was a 3-seed until earning a 1-seed in 2020. The Bears have three of the best defenders in the country and a lead guard that can score 20+ points in any game. Baylor has not been a fluke throughout the regular season and their success should extend into the NCAA Tournament. 
Big Wins: 11/24 vs Villanova (87-78), 1/11 at Kansas (67-55), 2/15 West Virginia (70-59)
Bad Losses: 11/8 vs Washington (64-67), 2/29 at TCU (72-75), 3/7 at West Virginia (64-76)
Coach: Scott Drew
Why They Can Surprise:
Baylor’s superlative season has been driven by their outstanding defense. Davion Mitchell, Mark Vital and Freddie Gillespie are three of the best defenders in the nation at their respective positions. Mitchell can lockdown an opponent’s lead guard while Gillespie protects the paint and Vital does a little bit of everything on the defensive end of the floor. The trio have led the Bears to a top-5 defensive efficiency rating while allowing just 60.1 points per game. Baylor doesn’t only have to rely on their defense to win them games. Jared Butler is an all-Big 12 caliber guard who averages 16.0 points per game, which includes a pair of 22-point outings against Villanova and Kansas. Baylor is a balanced offensive team with eight players averaging at least four points per contest and four players shooting above 35.5% from three. If a shot fails to go in though, the Bears average nearly 13 offensive rebounds per game, a top-15 mark in the country.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Admittedly, it is difficult to poke holes in Baylor’s performance this year. One area they have struggled with all season is getting to the free-throw line and making shots when they get there. The Bears are 242nd in the nation in free-throw percentage, and they average just 18.3 attempts per game, which is 233rd in the nation. NCAA Tournament games often come down to the final minute and if the Bears fail to convert from the charity stripe, it could lead to a loss. The Bears have also struggled to shoot the ball well from the field, especially in conference play. In Big 12 games, the Bears are shooting just 46.4% from two and 33.4% from three. Offensive rebounding has always been an elite skill for Baylor, but their reliance on second chance points could hurt if they are matched against a team similarly skilled at grabbing rebounds.
Probable Starters:
Davion Mitchell, Sophomore, Guard, 9.9 ppg, 3.8 apg, 1.5 spg
Jared Butler, Sophomore, Guard, 16.0 ppg, 3.1 apg, 1.6 spg
MaCio Teague, Junior, Guard, 13.9 ppg, 1.9 apg, 4.6 rpg
Mark Vital, Junior, Forward, 6.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.7 spg
Freddie Gillespie, Senior, Forward, 9.6 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 2.2 bpg
Key Role Players:
Devonte Bandoo, Senior, Guard, 7.6 ppg, 1.5 apg
Tristan Clark, Junior, Forward, 4.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg
Matthew Mayer, Sophomore, Forward, 4.8 ppg, 1.9 rpg
Flo Thamba, Sophomore, Forward, 2.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.1 (175th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 60.1 (7, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.9 (221, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.7 (26, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.7 (135, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.1 (87, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.0 (242, 5)
Rebound Margin: 3.5 (75, 3)
Assists Per Game: 13.8 (119, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.9 (67, 2)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2019NCAARound of 64 win over Syracuse
2019NCAARound of 32 loss to Gonzaga
2018NITFirst Round win over Wagner
2018NITSecond Round loss to Mississippi State
2017NCAARound of 64 win over New Mexico State
2017NCAARound of 32 win over USC
2017NCAARegional Semifinal loss to South Carolina
2016NCAARound of 64 loss to Yale
2015NCAARound of 64 loss to Georgia State
2014NCAARound of 64 win over Nebraska
2014NCAARound of 32 win over Creighton
2014NCAARegional Semifinal loss to Wisconsin
2013NITFirst Round win over Long Beach State
2013NITSecond Round win over Arizona State
2013NITQuarterfinal win over Providence
2013NITSemifinal win over BYU
2013NITFinal win over Iowa
2012NCAARound of 64 win over South Dakota State
2012NCAARound of 32 win over Colorado
2012NCAARegional Semifinal win over Xavier
2012NCAARegional Final loss to Kentucky
2010NCAARound of 64 win over Sam Houston State
2010NCAARound of 32 win over Old Dominion
2010NCAARegional Semifinal win over St. Mary's
2010NCAARegional Final loss to Duke
2009NITFirst Round win over Georgetown
2009NITSecond Round win over Virginia Tech
2009NITQuarterfinal win over Auburn
2009NITSemifinal win over San Diego State
2009NITFinal loss to Penn State
2008NCAARound of 64 loss to Purdue
*all team stats through 3/8