Baylor overcomes The Pit, Buffs to advance to Sweet 16

Senior Columnist

Baylor overcomes The Pit, Buffs to advance to Sweet 16

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Colorado took over The Pit. But Brady Heslip took over the game.

The bracket may follow. Baylor's guard poured in 27 points on nine threes -- both career highs -- to become one of those heroes of the Sweet 16 you'll see plastered across your TV screen for the next week.

Baylor beat its old Big 12 rival 80-63 to advance in a round-of-32 matchup to its second Sweet 16 in three years. For a team whose heart was questioned for much of the season, Heslip's was huge.

This Brady is an unassuming 6-foot-2, 180-pound Brady Bunch-looking shooting guard. Pure gunner. With no conscience. Whatever defense he gives you is a bonus. But on Saturday he was pure adrenaline.

Baylor led only 61-60 with 7:45 when Baylor went on a 14-0 run that included two Heslip threes. That was a relief for Baylor which had to feel like it was playing a road game. CU had its own large group of fans. The rest of the building got behind 11th-seeded Colorado, trying to make its first Sweet 16 ever.

Instead, the massively talented and third-seeded Bears got a career game from their least physically imposing player. Heslip, a senior from Burlington, Ont. by way of Boston College, came within two threes of the tournament record (11) set by Loyola Marymount's Jeff Fryer in 1990.

The brackeet suddenly looks opened up for the Bears. At least for a game. They will play the winner of tomorrow's Xavier-Lehigh game in one South Regional semifinal next week in Atlanta.

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