Kim Mulkey’s Lady Bears are on the verge of something special. They’ve won 19 games in a row and counting, with victories over powerhouse programs like Texas and UConn. In fact, they haven’t lost a single game since December 15th, and before that they hadn’t lost since… March of 2018. That’s 2 two total losses for an entire calendar year. For reference, Duke’s men basketball team, regarded as the best men’s program in the nation, has lost 10 games in the same span of time.
The domination doesn’t stop there, though. The Lady Bears haven’t lost a Big 12 conference game in two years. Think about that – There are currently infants that do not know a world without Baylor completely sweeping Big 12 conference play. Their success is exciting, but their consistency pushes them into simply being remarkable.
So, we know Baylor is elite, but what’s behind Mulkey’s success this season? What makes the Lady Bears so unstoppable, and how will they fare come tournament time?
It starts with a team first attitude on offense. The Lady Bears lead the entire nation in assists at 23 per game, which stands as a testament to the unselfishness of the team as a whole. When players are distributing the ball to each other and setting up their teammates, the entire game becomes more fluid. The constant ball movement lulls the defense into a daze before the Bears finally strike. Opposing teams have to account for every player as a threat to score, unleashing a five-pronged attack that becomes virtually unguardable.
But when the team can’t find a shot, it also does not hurt to have All-American center and potential top WBNA draft pick Kalani Brown on your roster to create some offense. Brown has been superb all season, providing easy buckets down low with a wide frame and crafty finishing around the basket.
Her efficient scoring is only half of why she is an elite player, as Brown also happens to anchor one of the best defenses in the nation. Baylor’s 7 blocks a game is also good for the most in the country. The Lady Bears allow only 55 points a game, another one of the best marks nationwide. That stopping power, combined with scoring over 81 points a game themselves, makes Baylor an absolutely terrifying matchup.
Ok, so maybe you can’t really score on them. And maybe they can score on you at will. But there’s got to be some sort of weakness, right?
They also lead the nation in rebounds per game and rebound differential. They rank 3rd in average scoring margin with a blistering 26 more points per game than their opponent. They rank within the top 25 in three-point percentage. Simply put, the Lady Bears look somewhat unstoppable.
So, what does all of this mean for March then?
The tournament is everything. Baylor has taken the Big 12 crown year after year for almost a decade now. This year will mark Kim Mulkey’s ninth consecutive conference title. And, while that sort of success is an accomplishment most coaches could only ever dream of, Coach Mulkey has her sights set on bigger things: Her third national championship.
Mulkey has built an elite, perhaps the elite, women’s college basketball program in the nation. The Lady Bears stand alone as the favorite to win the entire tournament.
All there is to do now is sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.
Congratulations to our Lady Bears on their Big 12 Championship win!