Ranked as high as first in the regular campaign by the Associated Press, despite being unranked to start the season, the Bears ran off 15 straight before falling to West Virginia in Big 12 Conference play.
Baylor would end the season with six defeats in the regular campaign before being upset in the quarter-finals of the Conference Tournament by Kansas State, a result that probably got the Wildcats into the NCAA Tournament.
Wins over New Mexico State and USC in the first two rounds propelled the Bears into an unexpected Sweet Sixteen match up with the South Carolina after the Gamecocks took care of the Duke Blue Devils.
South Carolina plays strong defense and rides the talents of guard Sindarius Thornwell who averaged 21 points per game during the regular season.
It is perhaps instructive that Thornwell has the highest points per game average of anyone left in the NCAA Tournament field, slightly ahead of Frank Mason III of Kansas.
Baylor must deal with the local South Carolina product if they are to move on to the Elite Eight to face either Wisconsin or Florida.
There too, defense is the name of the game for the Badgers and the Gators. Wisconsin has come through against a couple of useful teams in Virginia Tech and Villanova, particularly the latter as the defending national champion, while Florida has decimated East Tennessee State and Virginia.
The Gators victory over the Cavaliers was particularly impressive as they held Virginia to 29.6% from the floor and just 1-of-15 from long range.