Luther Burleson coached the initial basketball staff in Baylor in 1907 also doubling as the football coach. In Baylor’s second season of basketball then cross-town rival TCU began their program which the Bears defeated twice during the 1908–09 season. Ralph Glaze’s (1911–1914) .788 winning percentage ranks at the top all time in school history. Ralph Wolf (1927–1941) lead Baylor to its very first SWC Championship in 1932 after surviving and beating among the first great tragedies in college sports in his first season as coach.
See also: List of accidents involving sports teams
On January 22, 1927, Coach Ralph Wolf’s Baylor Basketball team was travelling by bus to play with the University of Texas. As the bus passed through Round Rock, Texas, it approached railroad tracks on the south side of the company district on a drizzly, cloudy day. As the bus crossed the tracks the natives failed to listen to the noise of the train whistle and ringing bell. The driver caught sight of the train in the last minute and tried to maneuver away, however, the Sunshine Special crashed to the bus near 60 mph tearing off the roof and right side.
The Immortal Ten Memorial Ten Baylor students and basketball players have been murdered by the effect.  One participant, James Clyde”Abe” Kelly, driven his friend, Weir Washam, out the window of the bus just minutes before the effect, saving Washam’s life but costing Kelly his very own. The bodies of Kelly and Robert Hailey were found horrifically stretched throughout the cow-catcher on the front part of the train, with arms locked around each other and Kelly missing a leg. Ivy Foster Sr. of Taylor, Texas, had heard of the accident and rushed to the train station in Taylor to meet the train and assist where needed simply to find his son one of the deceased.
The deceased were Jack Castellaw, Sam Dillow, Merle Dudley, L.R. “Ivey” Foster Jr., Robert “Bob” Hailey, James Clyde “Abe” Kelly, Willis Murrary, James “Jim” Walker, and William Winchester.
The remainder of the 1927 season was canceled. The catastrophe had reverberations over the whole state and nation and contributed to the construction of the first railway overpass in Texas where the event happened at Round Rock. Buses were later needed to return to a complete stop and open the door at all rail crossings to listen to trains. The Immortal Ten story was commemorated each year since 1927 at first in Chapel services then afterwards at the Freshman Mass Meeting during Homecoming Week. In 2007, the event was memorialized in bronze on the Baylor campus in Traditions Plaza.
On the 90th anniversary of this catastrophe, January 22, 2017, the City of Round Rock held a memorial event to remember those who were murdered in the train-bus collision. At the event, the city committed the”Immortal Bridge,” which arcs over the railroad tracks where the accident happened. Green lampposts, green-and-gold paint and other markers honor the 10 pupils who were murdered there. The event was open to the public, and attendees included Baylor administrators and student leaders, the spirit squads, and Baylor’s Golden Wave Band.
Post World War II victory Baylor men’s teams won five conference championships at the former Southwest Conference (1932, 1946, 1948, 1949*, 1950*; * denotes shared name ). The Bears reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 1946, also reached the Final Four in 1948 and 1950. Bill Henderson’s 1948 group advanced to play the Kentucky Wildcats for the NCAA championship, but fell 58–42 into Adolph Rupp’s first national championship team. The group again advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 1950 beneath Henderson dropping to the Bradley Braves 68–66. Bill Menefee (1962–1973) would lead the Bears to a nationwide ranking in 1969 but failed to make the postseason that year. Menefee was the only trainer during the next 50 years to have a career record of over .500, and might later serve as Baylor’s athletic director in the 1980s. Gene Iba’s 1988 NCAA tournament team would be the very first NCAA championship appearance for the program in 38 years.
Main article: Baylor University basketball scandal
The men’s basketball program was plagued by a scandal in 2003. Patrick Dennehy, a participant for the team, was murdered by former teammate Carlton Dotson; then-coach Dave Bliss had been forced to resign amidst allegations that he had violated NCAA rules by making monetary payments to four players and that he made improper statements to the media characterizing Dennehy as a drug dealer. The school placed itself on probation, restricted itself to seven scholarships for two decades and enforced a post-season ban for one year. Additionally, the NCAA further punished the team by initiating a non-conference ban for the 2005–2006 season and extending the probationary period during which the faculty would have limited recruiting privileges.
Decade Long Resurgence
The 2005 Bears were hindered by just using 7 scholarship players and recorded just one win in conference play. Regardless of these challenges, head coach Scott Drew was able to gather a 2005 signing class ranked No. 7 nationally by HoopScoop.
The basketball program experienced a resurgence under coach Scott Drew having an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2008 for the first time in 20 years with a 9–7 conference record and the group’s first national ranking in 39 decades. The January 23, 2008 116–110 5OT triumph over Texas A&M at College Station officially became the greatest game in Big 12 history. The 2008–09 team was ranked early in the season but stumbled to a 5–11 summit finish before heating up in the Big 12 Tournament defeating both Kansas and Texas en route to the championship match versus Missouri, also lost by a score of 73–60. The 2008–2009 team listed the program’s first postseason victory since 1950 in its initial round NIT victory over the Georgetown Hoyas at Waco.
The 2008–09 team went on to advance to the NIT Final where they fell to Penn State. The 2009–10 squad was rated in both surveys and hauled off the biggest road win in school history across the then #6 Texas Longhorns at Austin 80–77 on Jan. 30th. The Bears closed out the season with a Big 12 age best 11–5 record and #1 in the Big 12 championship.
The 2009–10 group was picked to finish 10th in the Big 12 at the Big 12 Coaches Poll due to the graduation of several key players in the preceding calendar year. On the other hand, the team ended the regular season 23–6 and tied for 2nd in the Big 12 standings. After a two –1 album at the Big 12 tournament, the Bears were rewarded with a #1 in the South Region of the NCAA tournament. The Bears defeated #14 seed Sam Houston State 68–59 at First Round action and then defeated #11 seed Old Dominion 76–68 in Second Round drama to advance to the Sweet 16 hosted in Reliant Stadium in Houston. The Bear’s Sweet 16 match-up was 10 seed Saint Mary’s, which had defeated #2 seed Villanova the previous week to advance to the Sweet 16. The Bears won handily over the Gaels, 72–49, after major 47–19 at the half. The Elite Eight was also held in Reliant Stadium and the Bears’ opponent was the #1 seed Duke Blue Devils, the last #1 seed status at the NCAA tournament after another three #1 seeds (Kansas, Syracuse, and Kentucky) were defeated by lower seeded teams. In front of quite a pro-Baylor crowd of over 47,000, the Bears were defeated by the Duke Blue Devils, 78–71, to end the magic run to the Elite Eight. It had been the best season in the Scott Drew age as defined by convention standing, overall ranking, wins, and NCAA tournament wins. The Bears finished the year ranked #10 from the final ESPN/Coaches Poll–the highest ranking in program history at that moment.
The 2010–11 group started the season ranked 14th (according to the AP Preseason poll). The Bears started 7–0, also climbed to 9th from the polls prior to falling to Gonzaga in a neutral court in Dallas. The team finished 18–13 total and 7–9 in league play. The highlight of the season was Lacedarius Dunn getting the Big 12’s all-time top scorer, and a sweep of this series versus rated Texas A&M. After freshman star Perry Jones III was suspended by the NCAA for six games, the Bears proceeded to lose their first-round game of the Big 12 Tournament against Oklahoma.
The 2012 season saw another historic campaign for the Bears since they followed up the 2011 year with another successful conference run that saw the Bears win 30 games and make it to the Big 12 championship title game. The Bears were selected for the NCAA championship and made it all of the way to the Elite Eight, which ended in a loss to eventual national champion Kentucky.
The 2013 season witnesses another winning effort for the Bears as they followed up the 2012 Elite Eight season with another successful conference run that saw the squirrels sweep both TCU and Texas Tech while only dropping one game to UT. The bears started out with a pre-season standing of 19 in the country. The Boys finish conference play .500 and have been selected for the NIT championship. The Bears made it all of the way into the Final, which finished in a win over Iowa, winning the tournament before a large crowd in Madison Square Garden and claiming the 2013 NIT Title.