Busting Brackets

Baylor women’s basketball all-time Sweet Sixteen history

Feb 18, 2024; Waco, Texas, USA;  Baylor Lady Bears guard Aijha Blackwell (33) scores a three-pointer.
Feb 18, 2024; Waco, Texas, USA; Baylor Lady Bears guard Aijha Blackwell (33) scores a three-pointer. / Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The Baylor Bears didn’t earn a spot in the women’s NCAA Tournament until 2000. However, there has been no looking back since the Bears’ first chance at the Big Dance.

Baylor has made its way to the Sweet Sixteen 15 times over the past 24 years and has won the national title three times since the turn of the century.

One crucial piece of Baylor’s success in the postseason? The Bears’ former head coach Kim Mulkey.

Mulkey led the Bears to their first NCAA Tournament championship game in 2005 and Baylor won all three of its titles under her 20-year reign.

This will be Baylor’s first appearance in the Sweet Sixteen since current head coach Nikki Collen took over the program in 2021.

Baylor has gone 10-5 in its Sweet Sixteen appearances. This year, the Bears will face the USC Trojans, arguably one of the best teams in the nation.

Here’s a look back at Baylor’s past trips to the Sweet Sixteen:

460. . 2004 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. . . 69. baylor vs vols sweet16. 71. 534

In Baylor's first-ever trip to the Sweet Sixteen, the Bears came within seconds of moving on to the Elite Eight.

The game truly came down to the wire and, sadly, the Bears were sent home.

However, Baylor had gotten a taste of what a deep run was like and the Bears would be back for more.

460. 2005 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. 57. 487. . 64. . . 2005 w s16

The following season, Baylor would march its way back to the Sweet Sixteen where the Bears would easily take down the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

This season, Baylor was out for blood.

The Bears went on to win their first NCAA Tournament championship game and the program's first-ever national title.

. 439. . 460. 2006 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. 06 w s16. 82. . 63

Unfortunately, there would be no back-to-back title wins for the Bears.

To end their 2005-06 season, the Bears were blown out by the Maryland Terrapins in an 82-63 loss in the Sweet Sixteen.

39. 460. 2009 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. 09 w s16. . . . 56. 438

A similar fate awaited Baylor in 2009 as the Bears were crushed once again in the Sweet Sixteen. This time around, the Louisville Cardinals clobbered Baylor and the Bears would go home after a 56-39 loss.

77. 460. 2010 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. 10 w s16. . 62. 534. .

In 2010, the Bears would redeem themselves against the Lady Volunteers with a 77-62 trouncing over Tennessee.

Baylor made its way to the Final Four before losing 70-50 to the top-ranked UConn Huskies.

2011 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. . 86. . 11 sweet sixteen. 76. 2387. . 460

While Baylor only made it to the Elite Eight in 2011, the Bears' path included and sweet victory over the Green Bay Phoenix in the round of 16.

In the following round, Baylor lost 58-46 to Texas A&M.

460. 2012 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. 12 s16. 68. . 83. . 436.

Along the way to the Bears' second national title, Baylor took down the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in a soul-crushing 83-68 victory.

Baylor went on to defeat Tennessee, Stanford, and Notre Dame to once again be crowned the national champions.

460. . 12 s16. 81. 2013 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. 82. 438. .

In a heartbrekaing game, the Louisville Cardinals ruined Baylor's hope for consectuive national titles.

The Cardinals defeated the Bears by just 1 point in the 2013 Sweet Sixteen.

. 90. . 2014 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. 14 s16. 528. 460. 72.

Baylor ran Kentucky over with a truck in the 2014 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. With an 18-point victory over the Wildcats, the Bears moved on to yet another Elite Eight apperance.

Unfortunately for Baylor, the team had to face the top-seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish who demolished the Bears 88-69.

. 81. . 2015 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. 15 s16. 860. 66. 483.

Before the Bears lost to Notre Dame in the Elite Eight once again, Baylor knocked out the Iowa Hawkeyes in a resounding 81-66 victory.

The Fighting Irish defeated the Bears 68-77 in the 2015 Elite Eight.

78. 460. 435. . 58. . . 2016 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. 16 sweet 16

With a 20-point victory over the Florida State Seminoles, the Bears captured their seventh win the Sweet Sixteen.

While the Bears would go on to lose in the Elite Eight again, Baylor was certainly cementing itself as a national powerhouse.

17 s16. 63. . . 97. 460. . 2017 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. 438

Baylor was once again out for revenge in the 2017 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen, but this time it was against the Louisville Cardinals... and you know what they say about revenge:

It's pretty sweet.

The Bears flattened the Cardinals with a 97-63 win to move on to the Elite Eight.

62. 18 s16. 72. 516. . . 460. . 2018 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen

The Bears' most recent, and fifth-ever, loss in the Sweet Sixteen was to the Oregon State Beavers in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

Baylor was sent home by a 10-point loss to the Beavers who would go on to lose by 33 points in the Elite Eight.

68. . 2019 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. 460. 19 s16. 533. . . 93

Baylor's third national title came in 2019. Along the way, the Bears defeated Abilene Christian, Cal, South Carolina, Iowa, Oregon, and Notre Dame.

In the Sweet Sixteen matchup against the Gamecocks, Baylor walked away with a 25-point win to move on to its next opponent, the Iowa Hawkeyes.

485. . . . 2021 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. 75. 78. 460. 21 s16

In 2021, the Bears would defeat the Michigan Wolverines in an overtime thriller to move on to the Elite Eight.

The three-point victory over Michigan was Baylor's last apperance in the Sweet Sixteen until the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

Baylor and USC are scheduled to tipoff at 5:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 30 for the Sweet Sixteen matchup. The winner will move on to face either UConn or Duke in the Elite Eight.

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