So what has happened to the Baylor Bears this season?
The team that celebrated wildly after it was the 64th team selected to last year's 64-team NCAA tournament field has been uncharacteristically struggling this season. Going into Saturday afternoon's home game against Colorado, the Bears have dropped eight of their last nine games and are closer to making the NIT than the NCAA tournament.
While it pains him to say it, Baylor coach Scott Drew knows why his squad has struggled.
"Before (this season) we never really had any expectations (from outsiders),'' Drew said. "I know as seniors, it's your last go-round, so you try that much harder.
"I think our whole team at certain points have been pressing. That's a different feeling for all of us.''
Baylor is 16-11 overall and just 4-9 in Big 12 play. Based on appearing in the NCAA tournament last year for the first time in 20 years, the fans expect more.
Senior guard Curtis Jerrells admits that he and his teammates are pressing too hard to collect some victories. And he's vowing changes.
"I just thought we were better than we were,'' Jerrells said. "But we put ourselves in this position, so it's going to be up to us if we want to get to where we want to get to.''
By Jerrells' estimation, the Bears must win their final three regular season games against Colorado, Texas and Nebraska, and then win at least three games in the conference tournament in order to have a realistic chance at gaining an NCAA postseason berth.
"Whatever has to be done has to be done,'' Jerrells said. "I don't really think we can afford to lose.
"We've got three games left in conference (play), and we're going to have to put it down in the Big 12 tournament if we want to get to where we want to be.''
_ Dwain Price