For years, Baylor Men’s Basketball coach Scott Drew has been accused of not being able to win “the big one.”
Despite consistently ranking inside the top 25 and earning numerous NCAA tournament appearances, Drew had never made a Final Four or won a conference title.
That all changed Tuesday when Baylor earned its first conference championship since 1950 with a thrilling, overtime win over West Virginia in Morgantown.
It is Baylor’s first-ever Big 12 Men’s Basketball championship.
The Bears exchanged buckets with West Virginia throughout the second half. With less than three seconds left in regulation, Baylor's Jared Butler scored a layup to tie the game at 81 and send it into overtime.
In the overtime period, Butler hit a three pointer in the left corner to give the Bears an 86-85 lead. He then fouled out of the game with 1:15 left.
With their star guard out of the game, Baylor needed someone else to step up.
With less than one minute to go, Davion Mitchell git a contested layup to give the Bears a one point lead. Mark Vital forced a turnover on defense, and Baylor held on for a 94-89 win.
Baylor had a chance to wrap up the title Saturday in a game against Kansas, but the Bears stumbled, forcing a key matchup with the Mountaineers. Coming into Tuesday’s matchup, West Virginia was the only other team in the Big 12 with a chance to unseat the Bears.
Baylor was forced to cancel several of his conference matchups because of a three-week layoff caused by a COVID-19 outbreak among the team. As a result, the Big 12 announced they would crown a champion based upon team's winning percentage.
Baylor has two remaining games in the regular season. Thursday, they will play Oklahoma State at the Ferrell Center before finishing the season against Texas Tech Sunday.
According to Big 12 rules, each team must play 13 conference games to turn a title. If a team plays less than that number, they will be assigned losses up to 13 games.
Baylor is currently scheduled to finish the season with 14 conference games.