TULSA, Okla. – Baylor coach Scott Drew showed Kansas a little love before the Bears faced USC on Sunday night.
The Jayhawks romped past Michigan State, 90-70, in the first game at the BOK Center, to earn a spot in the Sweet 16 in the Midwest region against Purdue.
After the game, Drew went into the Kansas locker room and wrote on the chalkboard: “Congrats. Great job. Go Big 12.”
After the Bears knocked off USC, 82-78, Drew’s team became the third Big 12 squad to advance to the Sweet 16. Baylor faces No. 7 seed South Carolina on Friday in the East region semifinals at Madison Square Garden.
“That’s just Big 12 basketball,” Drew said after the game. “It’s a grind. If it’s not conference time, we’re cheering for each other."
West Virginia also made the Sweet 16 and will face No. 1 seed Gonzaga in the West region. Drew's hoping three Big 12 teams will advance to the Final Four.
“We would love to see everybody at the Final Four together,” Drew said. “Then we won’t cheer for each other.”
Motley comes up big
Baylor forward Johnathan Motley pulled off a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds despite playing just 27 minutes against USC,
He fouled out with 1:39 remaining and hated to leave the court in a tight game.
“It was tough because I know my teammates wanted me out there,” Motley said. "And I wanted to be out there. But the guys told me, ‘We got you. We got it. We’re going to finish the game.’”
McClure slays Trojans
Baylor sophomore guard King McClure matched his career high with 17 points against the Trojans.
He nailed five of eight 3-pointers, including four in the first half.
“Before the game, my teammates and coaches told me to be aggressive and take shots,” McClure said. “And Mot had the ball the first play and kicked it out to me. He trusted in me and believed in me, and I knocked down the shot. When your teammates believe in you have all the confidence in the world.”