Ryan Nembhard scored a career-high 30 points as No. 6 seed Creighton found his shooting touch to beat third-seeded Baylor 85-76 on Sunday night and earn a berth in the Sweet 16 for the second time in three seasons.
With Baylor heavily focused on containing big man Ryan Kalkbrenner, Nembhard and the Bluejays went to work on the outside. They shot 45.8% from 3-point range after a 3-for-20 performance in a first-round win over North Carolina State. They were also 22 of 22 from the free throw line, including 10 of 10 from Nembhard.
The Bluejays (23-12) will face 15th-seeded Princeton in Louisville, Kentucky, on Friday in the NCAA Tournament. Princeton reached the South Region semifinals with wins over Arizona and Missouri.
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LJ Cryer finished with 30 points for Baylor (23-11), which lost in the second round for the second straight year after winning the championship in 2021. Big 12 rookie of the year Keyonte George was held to seven points, well below your average. from 15.6. George projects as a possible lottery pick, should he decide to leave after this season.
Leading by double digits, the Bluejays extended the lead, and got the crowd pumped, with back-to-back 3-pointers by Francisco Farabello and Nembhard.
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The Bears cut it to 79-70 with around 3 minutes left, but turnovers prevented them from getting any closer.
Trey Alexander added 17 points, Arthur Kaluma 11 and Kalkbrenner had 10.
Nembhard, whose brother, Andrew, plays for the Indiana Pacers, was 4-for-6 from 3-point range. His previous high was 25 against Arkansas on November 22.
This could be telling for Creighton: The Bears have lost to the eventual national champion four times (1946, 1948, 2010 and 2012) and to runner-up North Carolina last season.
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Creighton: Improved to 18-24 all-time in the tournament.
Baylor: The Bears are 19-10 in the NCAA Tournament under coach Scott Drew.
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Not much recent between Creighton and Princeton. The Blue Jays defeated the Tigers 63-54 on December 29, 1961.