For the second year in a row, the Lady Bears’ season ended with a loss to Notre Dame in a regional final.
Led by Hall of Fame coach Kim Mulkey, Baylor enters its matchup in the women’s NCAA Tournament against Iowa as confident as ever.
Baylor coach Kim Mulkey is already talking about the NCAA Final Four that will be played two years from now in Dallas, about 100 miles from the Waco campus.
With Big 12 player of the year Nina Davis and national assists leader Niya Johnson, the fifth-ranked Lady Bears will open the NCAA Tournament at home for the fourth time in five years.
There is nothing unusual about Baylor going into the Big 12 women’s tournament already with a trophy.
Mulkey has a roster loaded with talented young players that makes her think about what John Calipari has with the No. 1 Kentucky men and his platoon system.
The walls in coach Kim Mulkey’s office are filled with pictures, banners and other memories from her 14 seasons with the Baylor Lady Bears, including two national championships, 11 other NCAA tournament appearances and 404 victories.
The loss ended the brilliant career of Baylor guard Odyssey Sims, who finished this season with 1,054 points – eight short of Jackie Stiles’ single season NCAA record.
The last time Baylor and Kentucky met, they played one of the most exciting games in the history of women’s basketball.
The Lady Bears have made it to the third round of the NCAA women’s tournament for the sixth year in a row. But there are still surely plenty of people surprised to see them back in the Sweet 16 this year.
Mulkey will serve a one-game NCAA suspension for criticizing the officiating after the last year’s Sweet 16, when the then-defending national champion Lady Bears were upset by Louisville.
Everything seems pretty much the same for perennial national power Baylor, with another Big 12 title and a No. 2 seed in hand headed into the NCAA women’s tournament.