After a double-overtime win Wednesday night against Kansas State, the No. 13 Bears look to take that momentum with them as they face No. 1 Oklahoma 11 a.m. Saturday at the Ferrell Center.
Should the Bears win, it will be the program’s first-ever win over a No. 1 team.
The game will be televised nationally on ESPN as two top 15 men’s basketball teams battle for the win and first place in the conference standings.
Adding to the excitement of the game, fans are encouraged to wear green. The first 1,000 students in attendance will receive free Rudy’s breakfast tacos.
The Bears (15-3, 5-1) have gone undefeated at home this season, and, more impressively, with the win against the Wildcats, the Bears took the No. 1 spot in the Big 12 for the first time in 18 years.
The Bears will also try to surpass the Ferrell Center record with a 16th consecutive home win.
With six Bears averaging double figures in conference play and the bench outscoring the opposing benches, the Bears are in good form to earn a historic victory on Saturday.
“I think it starts with the point guard. Lester Medford has been tremendous all year long,” said head coach Scott Drew. “Assist and turnover ratio, Taurean Prince and Al Freeman have done a great job of improving in that area from seasons past when they were more scorers and now they are facilitators as well. We’re a much tougher team to defend when you have six players in double figures.”
“Our bench play has been outstanding and that has really helped us,” Drew said. “We are playing better basketball. Defensively, we are getting more stops, we are getting in transition more. Offensively, we have been exciting, shooting a pretty good percentage.”
However, the No. 1 ranked Oklahoma (15-2, 4-2) team is no stranger to a challenge, and after coming off a tough loss to Iowa State on the road, the Sooners will be hungry for a win.
The Sooners have averaged 43 rebounds per game, a shooting percentage of .468, and a .721 free throw percentage.
The Bears are going to have to find a way to shut down senior guard Buddy Hield, who leads his team with 34.2 minutes of play a game and is averaging 26.1 points per game.
Drew talked about the importance of taking one game at a time and preparing for each one accordingly.
“That’s why we’ve been successful the past four games, we’ve approached each game and the importance of it,” Drew said. “One thing that is great about being in a conference like the Big 12, you don’t have to sell your guys on how good someone is.”
The Big 12 has produced some of the best talent this year, with the records and victories showing for it.
“I personally think the Big 12 is the best conference in America,” said sophomore guard Al Freeman. “Every night we’re going to be playing against tough teams, and you can lose on any given night. You’re going to have teams taking you down to the wire every single night.”
The Bears are hoping to receive full support from the Baylor fan base.
“One thing about momentum is that it is contagious, hopefully we can keep the positive momentum going,” Drew said.