No one could take more satisfaction out of the accomplishment of these young men today than I do. I arrived on campus for my recruiting visit in April of 1950 in the after glow of the Final Four trip by the Bears. I was amused to see the consolation trophy being used as a pee pot by some of the players. At the time I had no reason to think that another such trip was unlikely over the stretch of a long lifetime, or that my arrival in the Fall of 1950 would herald, not another cycle of excellence, but a long era of unending futility for teams in search of another championship run. If I was the modern equivalent of Jonah, today the whale spit me out on the sandy beach of Padre Island.

It would be hard to define just what it took in terms of basketball talent and genuine courage to win that game today. The Bears were fighting huge odds, no matter what the betting line said. I thought that WVU played about as well as they could play today, whereas the Bears were running uphill for much of the contest. Calls did not go their way too many times and WVU lived at the line. The Bears had to rally over and over, and they did so. Drew established himself as a legendary Baylor coach today, and these men will carry this achievement and the mutual bond that made it possible as a badge of honor for as long as Baylor basketball teams suit up and take the floor.

The fact that this conference has seven ranked teams ready to play in the NCAA Tournament, most of them likely to advance to the second week and some beyond that, only makes this all the sweeter. Our victories on enemy territory week after week in a season shadowed by an even greater enemy all around us cannot be overlooked when we think about this championship. We beat the best lineup of teams that this conference has had in many years, if not ever, and we beat most of them on their own courts in order to win it all. There are no asterisks for this team, only exclamation points!!