South regional: Baylor vs Xavier


How they got here: Baylor (29-7) fell behind 19-7 in their opener with South Dakota State, but was able to grind their way back into the game and pull out a win. In the 2nd round they handled Colorado easily.

Xavier (23-12) rallied from a ten-point 2nd half deficit to beat Notre Dame in the final seconds, then beat up on Lehigh in the round of 32.

Three things Xavier fans should know about Baylor:

  • Baylor has two players who were consensus top-10 recruits in Perry Jones III and Quincy Miller. Only once so far in this tournament has either scored in double figures (Miller with 10 in the opener).
  • The Bears will be the biggest team Xavier has faced this season. Baylor ranks as the ninth overall team in effective height.
  • Baylor is very balanced in how they score the ball. Amongst the 345 Division I teams, the Bears rank between 158-180th in the amount of their points that come from 2-pointers, 3-pointers and free throws.

Three things Baylor fans should know about Xavier:

  • The Musketeers have 12 losses on the season, but five came in a six-game stretch immediately following the fight with Cincinnati which resulted in multiple players being suspended.
  • Xavier has suffered bad luck this season, as opponents are hitting 73.8% of their free throws against them, which is a higher % than all but six teams.
  • Two of Xavier’s starters (Dezmine Wells and Mark Lyons) make at least 39% of their shots from beyond the arc.

Key players:

Perry Jones III, 6-11, SO, Baylor: The enigmatic Baylor sophomore has not had a tournament worth remembering. So far he’s scored just 9 points in two games on 4-14 shooting. If the Bears want to advance past Xavier, now would be a good time for Jones to step up his game.

Kenny Frease, 7-0, SR, Xavier: Baylor has a big front line with 6-11 Perry Jones and 6-9 Quincy Miller. Frease and Andre Walker (6-7) are the only starters over 6-4. Frease blocks 5% of the shots when he’s in the game, and is a solid rebounder on both ends of the floor. Xavier needs him to stay active and out of foul trouble.

Most googled phrases during out of conference play:

  • Baylor: how old is brady heslip
  • Xavier: xavier cincinnati fight video

Last Elite-8 appearance:

  • Baylor: 2010
  • Xavier: 2008