Luther Burleson coached the initial basketball team in Baylor in 1907 also doubling as the football coach. In Baylor’s second season of basketball then cross-town rival TCU started their program which the Bears defeated twice during the 1908–09 season. Ralph Glaze’s (1911–1914) .788 winning percentage ranks at the best all time in college history. Ralph Wolf (1927–1941) direct Baylor to its very first SWC Championship in 1932 after surviving and overcoming one of the first great tragedies in college athletics in his first season as coach.
See also: List of mishaps involving sports teams
On January 22, 1927, Coach Ralph Wolf’s Baylor Basketball group was travelling by bus to play 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 paths the natives failed to hear the sound of the train whistle and ringing bell. The driver caught sight of the train at the last minute and attempted to maneuver away, however, the Sunshine Special crashed into the bus near 60 mph tearing off the roof and side.
The Immortal Ten Museum Ten Baylor students and basketball players have been killed by the impact.  One participant, James Clyde”Abe” Kelly, driven his buddy, Weir Washam, out the window at the bus only moments before the impact, rescue Washam’s lifetime but costing Kelly his very own. The bodies of Kelly and Robert Hailey were discovered horrifically stretched across the cow-catcher on the front of the train, with arms locked around each other and Kelly missing a leg. Ivy Foster Sr. of Taylor, Texas, had heard of the crash and rushed to the train station in Taylor to meet the train and help where needed only 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 rest of the 1927 season was canceled. The tragedy had reverberations over the whole state and nation and led to the building of the first railway overpass in Texas in which the event happened at Round Rock. Buses were later needed to come to a complete stop and open the door at all railway crossings to listen for trains. The Immortal Ten story has been commemorated annually since 1927 at first in headquarters providers then later at the Freshman Mass Meeting throughout Homecoming Week. In 2007, the occasion was also memorialized in bronze on the Baylor campus in Traditions Plaza.
On the 90th anniversary of the catastrophe, January 22, 2017, the City of Round Rock held a memorial event to recall those who were killed in the train-bus collision. In the event, the city dedicated the”Immortal Bridge,” which arcs over the railroad tracks where the incident happened. Green lampposts, green-and-gold paint and other markers honor the 10 pupils who were killed there. The event was open to the public, and attendees comprised Baylor administrators and student leaders, that the spirit squads, and Baylor’s Golden Wave Band.
Post World War II victory Baylor men’s teams won five conference championships in the former Southwest Conference (1932, 1946, 1948, 1949*, 1950*; * denotes shared title). 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 progressed to play the Kentucky Wildcats for the NCAA championship, but fell 58–42 to Adolph Rupp’s first national championship team. The group advanced into the NCAA Final Four in 1950 under Henderson dropping to the Bradley Braves 68–66. Bill Menefee (1962–1973) will 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 really have a career record of over .500, and might later serve as Baylor’s athletic director from the 1980s. Gene Iba’s 1988 NCAA tournament team would be the first NCAA championship appearance for the program in 38 decades.
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 killed by former teammate Carlton Dotson; then-coach Dave Bliss had been forced to resign amidst allegations that he had violated NCAA rules by making financial payments to four players and that he made improper statements to the press characterizing Dennehy as a drug dealer. The school put itself on probation, limited itself to 7 scholarships for two years and enforced a post-season ban for a year. Additionally, the NCAA further punished the team by initiating a non-conference ban to the 2005–2006 year and expanding the probationary period through which the school would have restricted 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 with an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2008 for the first time in 20 years with a 9–seven summit record and the group’s first national standing in 39 decades. The January 23, 2008 116–110 5OT win over Texas A&M at College Station officially became the greatest game in Big 12 history. The 2008–09 team again was rated early in the season but stumbled on a 5–11 conference finish before heating up in the Big 12 Tournament beating both Kansas and Texas en route to the championship match versus Missouri, and lost by a score of 73–60. The 2008–2009 group listed the program’s first postseason victory since 1950 in its first round NIT victory within the Georgetown Hoyas at Waco.
The 2008–09 team went on to progress to the NIT Final in which they fell to Penn State. The 2009–10 group was rated in both polls and pulled off the biggest road win in school history across the then #6 Texas Longhorns in Austin 80–77 on Jan. 30th. The Bears closed out the season with a Big 12 era best 11–5 record and #3 seed in the Big 12 championship.
The 2009–10 group was picked to finish 10th in the Big 12 at the Big 12 Coaches Poll as a result of graduation of several key players from the preceding year. On the other hand, the team ended the regular season 23–6 and tied for 2nd in the Big 12 standings. Following a 2–1 album in the Big 12 championship, 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 conquered #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, that had defeated #2 seed Villanova the previous week ahead of the Sweet 16. The Bears won handily over the Gaels, 72–49, after major 47–19 in the half. The Elite Eight was also held at Reliant Stadium and the Bears’ opponent was the #1 seed Duke Blue Devils, the last #1 seed status at the NCAA tournament following another three #1 seeds (Kansas, Syracuse, and Kentucky) were all defeated by lower seeded teams. In front of a very pro-Baylor audience of over 47,000, the Bears were defeated by the Duke Blue Devils, 78–71, to end the magical run to the Elite Eight. It had been the best season from the Scott Drew age as defined by convention standing, overall standing, wins, and NCAA championship wins. The Bears finished the season ranked #10 from the last ESPN/Coaches Poll–the maximum ranking in program history at that time.
The 2010–11 team started the season ranked 14th (according to this AP Preseason poll). The Bears started 7–0, and climbed to 9th from the polls prior to falling to Gonzaga in a neutral court in Dallas. The group ended 18–13 total and seven –9 in league playwith. The highlight of the season was Lacedarius Dunn getting the Big 12’s all-time leading scorer, and a sweep of the series versus ranked Texas A&M. After freshman star Perry Jones III was suspended from the NCAA for six matches, the Bears proceeded to shed their first-round game of the Big 12 Tournament against Oklahoma.
The 2012 season saw another historic effort for the Bears since they followed the 2011 year with another successful conference run that saw the Bears win 30 games and make it to the Big 12 championship title match. The Bears were selected for the NCAA tournament and made it all of the way into the Elite Eight, which ended in a loss to eventual national champion Kentucky.
The 2013 season witnesses another winning campaign for the Bears since they followed up the 2012 Elite Eight season with another successful seminar run which saw the squirrels sweep both TCU and Texas Tech while only dropping one match to UT. The bears started out with a pre-season standing of #19 in the country. The Bears finish conference play at .500 and have been chosen for the NIT tournament. The Bears made it all of the way into the Final, which finished in a triumph over Iowa, winning the championship in front of a large crowd in Madison Square Garden and claiming the 2013 NIT Title.