Baylor Bears won the first NCAA Division I basketball title this Monday night! The Bears were dominant in the finals, rolling over the 31-0 Gonzaga Bulldogs, 86-70, recording the biggest triumph in the school’s history.
Scott Drew’s guys were excellent, not having the single mistake against the Bulldogs, who were the favorites coming into this event, riding their perfect record.
The Bears got the compensation for the previous season, once they had a run of 23 straight wins interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemics. At that time, Drew’s crew was among the biggest candidates for winning the title.
They wouldn’t allow the Bulldogs to feel comfortable at any given moment, opening the event with a 9-0 series and increasing the lead as time went by. Midway through the first half, Baylor was already up 29-10, and it was apparent that the Zags don’t have what it takes to match their intensity and quality of play.
The best Mark Few’s team could do is to cut down the deficit to nine points some four and a half minutes into the second half, and that was it. Following that, Baylor bounced back, making a push that saw them routinely closing this match and winning the championship.
Jared Butler was the best player of the match, and he won the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four award. He scored 22 points with seven assists and three boards, hitting four threes, all that in 31 minutes.
Macio Teague had 19 points, 8-for-15, while Davion Mitchel had a massive impact on the game, dropping 15 points, six boards, and five assists. Adam Flagler scored 13 points and Mark Vital 6, but with 11 rebounds.
On the other side, Jalen Suggs had 22, 8-for-15, with three assists. Drew Timme and Corey Kispert both had 12 each, while Andrew Nembhard scored nine with four boards and assists.
The Bulldogs made just five threes in 17 attempts and were heavily outrebounded, 22-38. They missed a chance to become the only perfect side since 1976 and the Indiana Hoosiers. Even though many experts agreed that Gonzaga had the best team in Division I, and potentially the most NBA players, they failed to make the final step.
According to the bookmakers, they are the No.1 favorites for winning the 2022 NCAA title, but all that will depend upon the fact which players will stay and which are going to enter the NBA draft.