The Norman Transcript

National Sports

March 27, 2014

Baylor, Wisconsin try to build on postseason success

(Continued)

ANAHEIM, Calif. —

Wisconsin is similarly impressed by Baylor’s athleticism and offensive balance. While knocking off Nebraska and third-seeded Creighton last weekend, Baylor also deployed a matchup zone that flummoxed both opponents and limited Creighton star Doug McDermott.

With most of a week to prepare, it’s likely Ryan has cooked up a way to penetrate the scheme.

“You have to probe,” Ryan said. “But I’ve seen the way they’re playing it. Attacking it and getting people to move a certain direction, and using your angles and misdirection and different things that good zone offensive teams use, we’re going to have to put all those together.”

Few teams in recent seasons have been better in March than Baylor, which has won 17 of its 20 postseason games over the last six years.

The Bears haven’t been content with Sweet 16 success, either: They reached the regional final before losing to the eventual national champion in 2010 and 2012. They missed the NCAA tournament last year, but went ahead and won the NIT anyway.

Although Drew sometimes struggles to get precision out of his gifted roster, he’s likely to have the players’ attention at this stage. Baylor has an added incentive for its weekend in Southern California — and it’s not just the Bears’ late-night trip to Hollywood’s famed Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles after they arrived Tuesday.

With two more wins, the Bears essentially would play the Final Four at home in Arlington, Texas, about 100 miles from their Waco campus. The idea seemed abstract last week, but it’s tantalizingly close now.

“Obviously that’s our goal, getting back to Arlington and playing in Texas again,” Bears forward Cory Jefferson said.

Wisconsin also is trying not to look beyond its Sweet 16 game, but the Badgers clearly would love to book Ryan’s trip to his first Final Four.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to Tour victory

    PARIS — Vincenzo Nibali put his lungs and legs to work one last time, marching up to the winner’s podium of the Tour de France and sighing deeply before the Italian anthem echoed over the Champs-Elysees....

    July 28, 2014

  • Jeff Gordon wins at Indianapolis for record fifth time

    INDIANAPOLIS — With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again. Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight ...

    July 28, 2014

  • Scott says he will coach Lakers

    LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers have waited nearly three months to hire a new coach, and they’re apparently making Byron Scott wait a few more days....

    July 28, 2014

  • BoSox snap Rays’ streak

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — David Ortiz hit a three-run homer, and the Boston Red Sox beat Tampa Bay 3-2 Sunday to end a five-game losing streak and stop the Rays’ longest winning streak in 10 years at nine games....

    July 28, 2014

  • The Big Hurt and Joe Torre headline Hall of Fame class

    COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy. Being enshrined in the Hall of Fame can have those effects, even on the greats....

    July 28, 2014

  • Telling The Boss, sorry

    COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Before he answered a question at the press conference following the Baseball Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony on Sunday, Joe Torre wanted to address someone he regrettably omitted from his speech....

    July 28, 2014

  • Wainwright bounces back to beat Cubs

    CHICAGO — When St. Louis Cardinals Mike Matheny visited the mound with two out and two on in the seventh inning on Sunday, he had no idea whether he was going to replace starter Adam Wainwright....

    July 28, 2014

  • A’s rout Rangers

    ARLINGTON, Texas — John Jaso drove in three runs, helping Scott Kazmir and the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 9-3 Sunday night....

    July 28, 2014

  • Clark rallies in Montreal

    MONTREAL — Tim Clark rallied to win the Canadian Open on Sunday, birdieing five of the last eight holes for a one-stroke victory over Jim Furyk....

    July 28, 2014

  • Isner wins another Atlanta final

    ATLANTA — Top-seeded John Isner overpowered Dudi Sela on Sunday to successfully defend his Atlanta Open title, blowing serve after serve past the 5-foot-9 Israeli player in a 6-3, 6-4 victory....

    July 28, 2014