Pratt: Lady Toppers have nothing to lose in Waco

WKU head coach Michelle Clark-Heard speaks to the Lady Toppers during the second half of the Lady Topper’s 80-71 victory over the University of Louisiana Lafayette Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Ky. (Mike Clark/HERALD)

Elliott Pratt

Grab a lot of candy, some soda and find your favorite tunes. In the opinion of junior guard Alexis Govan, that’s what you’ll need to get excited to make just over a half day’s trip to Texas.

If you’re making the trip to Waco, Texas, this weekend to watch the 15-seed Lady Toppers (24-8)  play 2-seed Baylor (29-4), I hope you do get some candy, good soda and your favorite tunes to make it enjoyable. Enjoy the trip, enjoy the game, but don’t let the result get you down.

It’s March so nothing can be ruled out, but I’m going to call it like I see it and say this trip will be a valuable learning experience for the Lady Toppers.

This is Baylor Lady Bear basketball here. If this weren’t the NCAA tournament and a regular season game instead, WKU would return to Bowling Green with a big-fat check signed, “thanks for playing”.

This isn’t a bashing of anything Lady Topper basketball has done. This is a simply recognition for what Baylor women’s basketball is.

Winning the Sun Belt Conference tournament championship was huge for the program (if that word even serves the feat justice) for a program that two years ago went 9-21.

Winning the Sun Belt crown was big. Winning against Baylor in the NCAA tournament will take a miracle.

A 15-seed or a 14-seed has not won a game in the NCAA tournament since the expansion to 64 teams in 1994. 16-seed Harvard advanced to the second round in 1998.

Michelle Clark-Heard previewed Baylor Wednesday and said: “They’re very good” (Baylor has been to the Final Four three times since 2005 and won the 2012 national championship), “They’re a great team” (Odyssey Sims is second in the NCAA in scoring with 28.4 points per game), and “They play in a great conference” (Big-12 Conference).

I’m not in any way excluding WKU from having a chance in this game. Let last year’s men’s team prove my point of nearly beating Kansas last year as a 16-seed.

When the Lady Toppers lost by 13 points to then No. 4 Louisville in December, it was the toughest team Clark-Heard has put her team up against in her coaching tenure at WKU.

Going into Waco to face Baylor in the NCAA Tournament is a bit tougher. Could WKU pull it off? I doubt it, but March is known to prove naysayers wrong.

Either way, WKU has nothing to lose going into Saturday night, they made it to the Big Dance, and that’s more than anyone thought they would have done not long ago.