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'It's going to be tough,': Baylor Bears, Lady Bears must fight to advance to the Final Four

Posted at 7:15 PM, Mar 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-29 20:15:48-04

It's gameday for Baylor Basketball. The Bears and Lady Bears are battling to secure a spot in the Final Four.

Down in San Antonio, there's all the markings of a national title game. Two teams with a lot of history and a lot to play for.

Their names are ascendant among college basketball royalty.

"We've had some good battles over the years. I think we've played eight times, and it's been some good basketball," said Lady Bears Head Coach Kim Mulkey.

Baylor and UConn have a combined 24 Final Fours and 14 national championships. They are two of only three programs with more than two titles.

Now they're dueling on one of Women's Basketball's biggest stages.

"I wish it was for a national championship and not for a chance to get to a Final Four," said Coach Mulkey.

"It's going to be tough. We know that. I've been saying since the bracket came out that if we were to run into UConn, it would be like playing two National Championship games if we were to get to the Final Four," said Lady Bears guard Moon Ursin.

From top to bottom, these programs represent excellence in college athletics.

On the benches, UConn's Geno Auriemma and Baylor's Kim Mulkey are two Hall of Fame coaches with a combined 1,750 college wins.

"She multitasks, she coaches, she officiates, she does everything on the sideline with a passion," said Coach Auriemma.

On the court, two of the top players in the nation, Nalyssa Smith and Paige Bueckers, are both finalists for the Women's Wooden Award.

"The talent on the floor will be on display more than Geno or Kim," said Coach Mulkey.

Outside of basketball, the coaches hope this matchup will serve as a potential golden standard for what Women's Basketball can be going forward and inspiration for more young women.

"If you wanna be the type of program that has a chance each year to put yourself in that kind of situation, then that's how you have to do it," said Coach Auriemma.

"I think both programs are just elite, and it's a shame somebody has to lose," said Coach Mulkey.

In Indianapolis, the Bears will take to the court.

Baylor is coming off a huge 62-51 win over Villanova.

By now, everyone is asking what makes the Bears so special. Well, the team has three nationally ranked guards who are all shooting at least 39% from the three-point line.

Jared Butler, Davion Mitchell and MaCio Teague have helped place Baylor in the number one spot, leading the nation in three-point percentage.

Baylor's deadly guards are something Arkansas will definitely have to learn to stop pretty quickly.

"I mean, I could go all the way down the line. I mean, they're all great shooters. They can beat you off the bounce. They have great spacing. They defend as perimeter players. It's just a really really difficult team to prepare for," said Arkansas Men's Basketball Head Coach Eric Musselman.

The Bears will face off with the Arkansas Razorbacks for a late game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Tip-off is set for 8:57 p.m.