Skip to content

Gonzaga Enters NCAA Men’s Final Favored over Baylor

Bulldogs Earn Date with Bears on Miracle Shot in OT

Out of March Madness comes April Sanity. The NCAA Men’s Championship will be determined Monday night between a pair of No. 1 seeds.

Gonzaga, which is undefeated, will face Baylor in the national final. The Bulldogs enter the game as a 5.5-point favorite to bet online over the Bears at BetUS sportsbook.

Jalen Suggs of the Gonzaga Bulldogs shoots a game-winning three point basket in overtime to defeat the UCLA Bruins 93-90
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images/AFP

BET THE MADNESS ▶️ #GoBruins #SicEm #FinalFour #MarchMadness

— BetUS Sportsbook & Casino (@BetUS_Official) April 4, 2021

The ‘Zags advanced on an absolutely remarkable shot by Jalen Suggs at the end of overtime. He hit a 3-point shot from inside the midcourt stripe to sink UCLA, 93-90. The hoop came after Johnny Juzang missed a shot and got the offensive rebound to tie things with 3.3 seconds left in Saturday’s second semifinal.

“I knew when he shot it it was going in,” Coach Mark Few said, adding Suggs makes those all the time in practices.

In December, the powerhouses were set to play before the matchup was canceled hours before tipoff due to positive tests within Gonzaga’s program.

They advanced to the title game in different fashions.

Trouble Was Bruin for Gonzaga

The 11th seeded UCLA Bruins gave the ‘Zags a stiff test before the Bulldogs escaped on Suggs’ shot.

It was UCLA’s third overtime game in the tournament before the clock struck 12 for the Cinderella Bruins.

UCLA had a chance to win the game in regulation but was called for an offensive foul in the final second with the game tied at 81.

That led to one NBA legend weighing in on the call.

Gonzaga got a critical 3-pointer from Andrew Nembhard to make it 90-85 in the extra session. However, the Bruins continued to scrap and got even on Juzang’s offensive rebound.

That set the stage for Suggs’ shot.

The Bulldogs get a chance to complete the first perfect season since Indiana accomplished the feat in 1975-76.

A Blowout

The first semifinal was a laugher. Baylor blitzed Houston to the tune of a 45-20 halftime lead and crushed the Cougars, 78-59.

Baylor’s 45-20 edge entering the break was the largest halftime lead in a Final Four game in 18 years and the fourth largest in Final Four history, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Marcus Sasser had scored 17 points at that juncture. The rest of the Cougars had combined to record just three by halftime.

“That’s the best team that I’ve seen in the seven years I’ve been at Houston,” Cougars coach Kelvin Sampson said. “They’re really, really good. I keep going back to them: Butler, Mitchell, Teague, Flagler, Mayer. I don’t think I’ve seen a team with five guards at that level. No drop-off, and they’re good at both ends.”

Baylor is coached by Scott Drew and has suffered two losses. The Bears lost at Kansas in its second game back before losing to Oklahoma State in the Big 12 tournament semifinals.

The Bears (27-2) will attempt to win their first national championship in program history. Baylor has made only one previous national championship game appearance in 1948, losing to Kentucky, 58-42.

How Baylor got to the Final Four

“I know whoever it will be, it will be a hard-fought game,” Drew said on Saturday. “Coach Few and I joked when the game got canceled and we went to the arena and we did a press conference saying that the game was canceled and whatnot. And as we were riding back we were, like, you know what, if we end up playing this game in the Final Four or the championship game, that sounds like a better idea, so that was obviously the goal for both of us.

“And I know we’re there. And we’ll see if [it’s] Gonzaga or UCLA. … Again, whoever you play, is going to be a great matchup and both of them are great teams.”

Featured Picks

Related News
Bronny James
Big Ten
Bronny James
Adama Sanogo
College basketball news
College basketball news
2023 March Madness
College Women's Basketball
College basketball news
College basketball news