The Gonzaga Bulldogs were trying to make history in the championship game of the 2021 men’s NCAA tournament on Monday night. The Baylor Bears weren’t going to let it happen.
Baylor blew out Gonzaga, 86-70, to win their first national title in men’s basketball. The Zags entered the game at 31-0 on the season and were trying to become the sport’s first undefeated team since Indiana in 1976, but Baylor left zero doubt who was the better team.
Baylor dominated every aspect of the game. Their talented guards consistently blew by the first line of Gonzaga’s defense and forced head coach Mark Few to go to a zone. The Bears were red hot from three-point range, hitting 10-of-22 attempts on the night. Baylor also dominated the glass, and forced Gonzaga into 13 turnovers.
Junior guard Jared Butler was the biggest star for the Bears. Butler finished with 20 points and seven assists, consistently beat the Zags’ defense from deep by hitting 4-of-9 shots from beyond the arc. Davion Mitchell added 15 points and five assists for Baylor, while MaCio Teague ended the night with 19 points.
Baylor entered the tournament as a No. 1 seed and were viewed as the second best team all season behind Gonzaga. The Bears are were also poised to be a No. 1 seed in last year’s NCAA tournament that never happened with the same core. This is an elite squad any way you look at it.
The Bears threatened to go undefeated themselves this year by starting the season 18-0 before pausing for Covid for three weeks. The Bears would eventually drop two games, but they have looked back to being a force of nature in the tournament. Scott Drew’s team blew out Houston in the Final Four, and has been winning comfortably throughout this tournament run. This is their most impressive win yet.
We live blogged this game. Here’s a full recap.