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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

NCAA denies superstitious Baylor’s request to wear neon

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Quincy Miller and Pierre Jackson (Getty Images)

Baylor won all four games in which it wore its new glow-in-the-dark neon green adidas jerseys this month, so superstitious Bears coach Scott Drew didn't like the idea of donning a different look in Sunday's Elite Eight matchup with Kentucky.

CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson revealed pregame that Drew petitioned the NCAA to let the Bears wear neon on Sunday even though they're technically the road team because they're the higher seed. Perhaps out of deference to top-seeded Kentucky being the home team or perhaps to spare TV viewers two hours of the migraine-inducing fluorescent jerseys, the NCAA turned down Baylor's request.

Baylor instead wore a black and camouflage green jersey trimmed in neon green, a look in which the Bears were 1-1 while wearing entering Sunday's 82-70 loss to Kentucky. Drew explained Saturday he sees some advantages to the neon jerseys besides the good luck factor.

"We've had some turnover issues earlier in the year, and I think this has helped with it," Drew told reporters at his pregame news conference. "We pass to the right guys because we stand out, so I'm good with that."

Perhaps Drew should have been less concerned with what his team was wearing and more concerned with who his team was playing. It probably wouldn't have mattered if Baylor wore pink, green, blue or purple against an opponent as dominant as Kentucky.

After getting off to an encouraging 10-5 start, the Bears surrendered the next 16 points, trailed by 22 late in the first half and never made another serious push. They contributed to their own demise with quick shots, lazy passes and flustered decisions that fueled Kentucky's fast-break attack.

Baylor made the final score more respectable by the final buzzer, but the Bears never trimmed the gap to less than single digits. It was a dominant performance by Kentucky against one of the few teams in the field of 68 with talent comparable to the Wildcats.

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