67 teams came and fell, but Baylor will have bragging rights as they survived it all. The NCAA tournament for men’s basketball ended Monday night with Baylor being the one and only team left standing. The Baylor Bears beat Gonzaga 86-70 to capture the national title and ruin Gonzaga’s perfect record. The victory was even more impressive considering that they led the entire game. The championship is the first in their school’s history. Gonzaga on the other hand will have to wait at least one more year to win their first title. This is the second time that the school from Washington has finished second in the tournament(2017 being the other time).
Baylor started the game on fire jumping out to a 23-8 lead halfway through the first half. It was a team effort and the energy that Baylor had, caught Gonzaga off guard because in the blink of an eye they were down big. To Gonzaga’s credit, they made some adjustments and fought their way back from the brink. Despite Baylor’s brilliance and shooting over 60% from three, the game was only separated by 10 at halftime. Considering how the first half went that was a minor victory for Gonzaga as they were able to keep within striking range.
The second half with both teams going on mini runs, with the score staying around a 12 point difference. With 14 minutes left to go in the game, Gonzaga finally cut the deficit below 10. After that Baylor just took over and eventually built their lead to as high as 20 at one point. Gonzaga had no answer for Baylor as the dream of an undefeated season slipped away. Jared Butler and Macio Teague led the Bears in scoring with 22 and 19 points. Baylor outrebounded Gonzaga, which was the biggest factor in this game, 38-22 which includes 16 offensive rebounds. Baylor was flat out the better team on the night and fully deserved the championship.