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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Scott Drew and Baylor shock perfect Gonzaga and land first National Championship in school history


NCAA March Madness logo interpretation.

The Baylor Bears shocked the Gonzaga Bulldogs 86–70 this past Monday in the NCAA men’s basketball  championship game. Baylor’s upset ended Gonzaga’s bid for the first perfect season in men’s college basketball in over 40 years, when the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers accomplished the feat. Gonzaga came into the championship game riding high on the momentum they secured from Jalen Suggs’s epic buzzer beating half-court shot against UCLA in the final four. However, the momentum did not prove to be enough.

Baylor dominated Gonzaga from the jump. Only 2:31 seconds into the game, the Bears enjoyed a comfortable 9–0 lead. Gonzaga’s flat energy and play in the first few minutes of action seemed to set the tone for the entire game. With 10:09 left in the first half, Baylor led by a comfortable 19 points, and would not look back for the rest of the way.

The problems for Gonzaga stemmed from both ends of the floor. For one, the Bulldogs were not nearly as successful as their counterparts in terms of three-point shooting. Only five of 17 attempts fell for the ‘Zags from distance. To make matters worse, Gonzaga committed a hefty 14 turnovers. Part of the slow start for the Bulldogs can be attributed to the foul trouble Jalen Suggs found himself in early on in the game. A quick two fouls in the first three minutes of action lead to the benching of the star guard for much of the first half. Star big man Drew Timme was quiet for much of the game, only posting 12 points and five rebounds, a far cry from the 19 points and seven boards he averaged throughout the season.

Jared Butler of Baylor was an unstoppable force on offense for the Bears, racking up 22 points while tacking on seven assists. As a team, Baylor shot 43.5 percent from three-point land, draining a whopping 10 shots on 23 attempts. Baylor’s shooting, paired with their stifling defense on the perimeter, established a pace of play that Gonzaga could not keep up with. In his post-game interview, Baylor coach Scott Drew would acknowledge his team’s quick lead and great play on the defensive end. “We feed off of each other. We got off to a great start, and defensively we’re pretty good.”

Baylor earned its first National Championship in school history under long-time coach,Coach Drew. Drew has overseen a rebuild of the Baylor program since 2003 after scandal had plagued the team. Facing sanctions from the NCAA due to issues which stemmed from his predecessor, Drew has slowly but surely built his program from the ground up over the past eighteen years.

When CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz asked Drew immediately after the game about his proclamation that he would win Baylor a national championship game eighteen years earlier, Drew smiled. “I’ve prayed about it, I felt led. God has blessed us with unbelievable players that have come for eighteen years to put in work. Our fans that have been with us through the lean years and the good years, our administration, President Livingstone, Mac Rhodes, they all deserve this! Waco deserves this!”

Now that Baylor has reached the pinnacle of the college basketball universe, they will look to defend their title next season. With the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player Jared Butler heading for the NBA, Baylor must look to someone new to carry the load heading into next year. One thing is for certain: Coach Scott Drew looks forward to the challenge.