ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The basket was as wide as the ocean for Brady Heslip, and because of that, the future looks as bright as those uniforms for the Baylor Bears.
Heslip made 9 of 12 from behind the 3-point line Saturday to lift third-seeded Baylor and their highlighter-yellow uniforms to a pullaway 80-63 victory over No. 11 Colorado. The Bears (29-7) advance to the South Regional semifinals, their second trip to the final 16 in three seasons. They'll play the winner between Xavier and Lehigh next Friday in Atlanta.
Heslip, the Boston College transfer who grew up playing — and losing — lots of H-O-R-S-E games with his father up in Canada would have beaten just about anybody on this electric day at The Pit.
He made six 3s in the first half to keep his cold-shooting teammates close. Then, he helped break open a tight game late. His 3-pointer with 6:56 came in the early stages of Baylor's 19-3 run to close the game. And it was contagious. Shortly after that make, Pierre Jackson (15 points, 10 assists) jacked one up from three feet behind the arc. Swish.
Then Heslip, not to be outdone, made No. 9 — leaving him only two short of the NCAA tournament record set by Jeff Fryer of Loyola Marymount in 1990 and matching the number put up by Purdue's Courtney Moses in the women's tournament a few hours earlier.
Heslip's wasn't a record, but they'll certainly forgive him at Baylor.
The Bears came into this game taller, longer and more athletic than Colorado (24-12), but the Buffs matched their hustle through the entire first half and beyond.
With the two Qs — Quincy Acy and Quincy Miller — shut down along with Perry Jones III, Heslip kept pulling up from long range and hitting nothing but net. He had matched his career high, with six at halftime — the most in one half of the tournament since Butler's Shelvin Mack did it in 2010. Heslip celebrated a few of his makes by pinching his thumb together with his forefinger on each hand and lifting the other three digits in the air.