By Gio Gennero | Sports Writer
Baylor Athletics has been on an unprecedented run this year, and with the start of March Madness, emotions are running high in the Baylor community. This has led to a lot of overreactions, so let’s break them down.
Overreaction — Men’s basketball is getting bounced by the Sweet 16
There have been plenty of ups and downs for No. 4 Baylor men’s basketball, and despite winning the last six games of the regular season, most people don’t seem to be sold on Baylor as a serious contender. There have been a lot of question marks lingering over the team, especially with key injuries. However, I believe this team has a good mixture of experience and hunger to make a deep run. Still battling injuries, head coach Scott Drew is forced to play small-ball lineups, with freshman forwards Jeremy Sochan and Kendall Brown taking turns at center. This has allowed for them to use their athleticism and quickness to create matchup nightmares and still hold their own on the defensive end. The way things stand, if Baylor loses it’ll only be because they beat themselves.
Not an overreaction — Women’s basketball is going to make a deep run
NaLyssa Smith is the best player in the country. The senior forward’s dominance alone could be enough to get them to the Elite Eight. Smith is averaging 22.5 points with 11.5 rebounds a game on a very efficient 55% shooting. Want to double-team her? There are four other Bears averaging around 10 points a game. With a solid lineup from top to bottom, as well as head coach Nicki Collen coaching with a chip on her shoulder, this team is poised for a Final Four appearance.
Not an overreaction — Acro & tumbling will seven-peat
Baylor’s acrobatic and tumbling team has won the last six national titles and shows no signs of slowing down. They are 4-0 so far this season and remain No. 1 week \to week. They’ve soundly beaten every opponent, including No. 3 University of Oregon. They are the favorites to once again take home the national title, and I believe it’s a safe bet.
Overreaction — Baseball will be toward the bottom of the Big 12
Baylor’s baseball lost a tough one to Sam Houston State University, 11-10, in its last outing. However, the Bears remain 9-7 and I don’t think they will drop below the middle of the Big 12 standings as the season continues. With a lot of talent on the roster, they will likely stay above .500 and could make a push to finish top four in the Big 12.
Not an overreaction — Softball will finish middle of the pack
Baylor’s softball team has several uncut gems and a lot of young talent. However, the inexperience has caused some struggles and the team went just 1-3 in the Rainbow Wahine Classic. I think the team will find its groove as the season progresses, but will still finish middle of the pack. They are currently 13-9 and will more than likely stay around the .500 range, likely slightly above.