Yale gets first-ever NCAA Tournament win in upset of No. 5 Baylor

For the second straight season, Baylor was one of the first top-seeded teams to go down in the NCAA Tournament. A year ago, the Bears’ First round exit — falling to tournament darling Georgia State — was one of a flurry of results that broke the entire nation’s bracket.

Fans were little more wary this year, particularly with Ivy League champion Yale playing so close to home in nearby Providence, and the 79-75 loss had less shock value. That does not mean it was without drama, as the Bears stormed back from an 11-point deficit in the final 6:47 on the back of athletic forward Taurean Prince. The team’s star finished with 28 points in the game.

As for Yale, this win is huge. It’s the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament win (0-4 prior to Thursday) and first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1962. The Bulldogs showed no fear against the big men from the Big 12, as evident by Justin Sears’ monster jam in the second half.

The Bulldogs shot the ball well (53 percent), and got plenty of open looks against the Bears’ defense. Makai Mason poured on the points early and finished with a team-high 31 points while Sears added 18.

That’s not to say there weren’t some awesome highlights for Baylor. This Rico Gathers block was so nasty we gave it a whole post to itself here on the site.

And Prince shook my faith in the rim with this dunk.

Instead, the prevailing emotion for Baylor is disappointment, particularly after a 22-win season that included a sweep of Iowa State and plenty of reasons for excitement heading into the tournament. On paper, everything looks great with Baylor, but a kerfuffle on the floor showed a disjointed team that could not put together a rally when they needed one in the second half against Yale.

Yale will play No. 4 seed Duke in the second round on Saturday in Providence.

Yale is moving on after a huge upset of Baylor. (USATSI)


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