The Baylor Bears were able to beat the undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs 86-70 to win their first NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship in franchise history on Monday night. The championship game was set by Baylor beating Houston by 19 points and Gonzaga beating UCLA with a buzzer-beater three-pointer to win the game. Both teams were ranked number one in their division heading into March Madness and the championship game.
The Bears started with an impressive 9-0 run in the first few minutes of the game and never looked back. Part of this early momentum for Baylor was that Gonzaga’s star player Jalen Suggs picked up two quick fouls and had to sit on the bench. The game continued to spiral out of control for Gonzaga as they fell behind, as many as 19 points in the first half, but the Bulldogs were able to close the deficit to 10 with a 9-2 run heading into halftime.
Momentum slowly seemed to come towards Gonzaga heading into the second half, but Baylor started strong and opened their lead once again. The Bulldogs were able to cut the lead to single digits at one point, but once again the Bears were able to regain their composure and stretch the lead to as much as 20 points in the second half. Baylor had a perfect combination of offense and defense throughout the night which helped them start strong and stretch their lead when Gonzaga began to close the gap.
The players that had large impacts for Baylor were all guards, including Jared Butler with 20 points, MaCio with 18, Davion Mitchell with 15, and Adam Flagler with 13. Each of these guards created space with hypnotizing dribble moves and crossovers that led to open layups or jump shots. Rebounding was another important factor in this game since Baylor outrebounded Gonzaga 38-22 including several offensive rebounds that led to second-chance points. Baylor’s defense was also impressive with several blocked shots and forcing Gonzaga to turn the ball over throughout the game.
Gonzaga has a bright future with Jalen Suggs since he is only a freshman with tremendous talent. He had 22 points and shot over 50% from the field in the championship game, and do not forget the buzzer-beater three-pointer he made to defeat UCLA in their semi-final game. Baylor on the other hand played a perfect game as a team on the offensive and defensive end, which in the end helped them beat the undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. You can find more information about the championship game here.