Maybe, just maybe Baylor punched its ticket to the NCAA tournament on Tuesday.

From the smiles of Baylor’s seniors to the optimistic giddiness of coach Scott Drew, the Bears certainly believed their 74-61 win over No. 16 Iowa State will put them over the top on Selection Sunday.

“Absolutely. No question,” Drew said when asked if his team belonged in the NCAA tournament. If the response was predictable, Drew offered facts to back the assessment:

Baylor now has seven wins against top-50 RPI teams, something that has usually meant NCAA selection.

While the committee looks at the full body of work, Baylor did pull itself out of a 2-8 ditch to start Big 12 play. With one game remaining at Kansas State, the Bears are 20-10 overall and 8-9 in the conference.

“You can't hold losses against Top 25 teams in the top conference in the country [against Baylor],” Drew said.

Even if Baylor doesn’t finish .500 in the Big 12, the precedent is there as recently as last season. Minnesota made the NCAA Tournament with an 8-10 Big Ten record. Then again, the Bears might have to win at least one game at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship in Kansas City next week.

For the moment, the win over Iowa State (22-7, 10-7) looms large.

After 15 lead changes, Baylor took control in the final 2:14. Guard Brady Heslip pump-faked, slid to his left and drilled a 3-pointer from the corner to break 61-61 tie. Baylor scored the game’s final 13 points.

“Best senior day ever,” said Heslip, who made 5-of-6 3-point attempts in the second half and finished with 18 points. “We left the egos aside. Nobody cared who scored, who’s in the game. We just wanted to win, and that was the difference in the last three minutes.”

Fifth-year senior Cory Jefferson added 21 points and seven rebounds. Jefferson and 7-1 Isaiah Austin played a key role in Baylor’s inside defense. Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim and Georges Niang, averaging a combined 35 points a game, made just 5-of-25 shots from the field.

Iowa State, which had not been held under 70 points this season and was seventh nationally in scoring, shot just 34.4 percent in the second half. Guard DeAndre Kane finished with 20 points but scored just three in the second half.

“We had a lot of things to inspire us,” Jefferson said.

Afterward, players celebrated with fans on the court. Jefferson even did an Oscar-like group selfie.

“You guys don’t know how happy I am right now,” Heslip said. “All I wanted to do was win. This was the best feeling I’ve felt in this gym, no question.”