In one of the most dramatic ends to a game in March Madness history, Gonzaga punched their ticket to the final game with a buzzer-beater.
On April 5, they will face Baylor University, who beat two-seed Houston by nearly twenty points in their semifinal game. Both Baylor and Gonzaga have had incredible roads to the final, but at the end of the game, only one of them will walk away as the champion of this year’s March Madness tournament.
Baylor’sRoad to the Finals
The Baylor Bears had a tough road to the final game. They had to beat out high-ranked teams like Wisconsin, Villanova, and Arkansas, and then put on an excellent performance against Houston before gaining entry to the championship game. Jared Butler, who was named Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year before the start of this season, has scored 69 points since the start of the tournament. He is one of the league’s best point guards, and he played a crucial role in pushing his team to the finals.
Baylor’s incredible capabilities were also showcased through Davion Mitchell, the national defensive player of the year, who has scored 66 points over the span of Baylor’s five games, and also through Adam Flager. Baylor’s coach, Scott Drew, said that he believed one of the main reasons for Baylor’s success is their depth and the diverse, wide range of options on their roster. The team has always had someone to turn to, with unique talents and skills that helped catapult Baylor to the top.
Gonzaga’s Road to the Finals
Gonzaga’s Final Four game against UCLA was incredible, ending in an overtime period and a phenomenal half-court buzzer-beater by Jalen Suggs. Gonzaga hasn’t lost a single game, even before March Madness, earning them an undefeated 30-0 season. Since the start of the tournament, they have decisively taken down Norfolk State, Oklahoma, Creighton, and USC, before beating UCLA.
Jalen Suggs was the hero of the semifinal game, but he also showed up offensively for the rest of the tournament, scoring 65 points since Gonzaga’s first-round game against Norfolk State. Joel Ayayi and Drew Timme combined for a whopping 181 points during March Madness, and have been incredible offensive attributes to Gonzaga’s team, as has Corey Kispert. Gonzaga has been a favorite to win March Madness since the beginning, and their incredible tournament run may very well earn them the title.
Gonzaga vs. Baylor
Gonzaga and Baylor are both number one seeds and are both competing for their first March Madness title. Both teams have had incredibly successful roads to the final game, and it will be an amazing, entertaining match-up. But as for who walks away with the win, Gonzaga has the slightest edge over Baylor. They have been undefeated, and with the exception of their game against UCLA, have beaten their opponents by a sizable margin. Suggs, Timme, and Kispert are offensive players that bring many different talents and skills to Gonzaga’s team, and Gonzaga’s offensive and defensive strength will push them over Baylor.
However, it won’t be a blowout like most of Gonzaga’s games have been. Baylor will be a very tough competition, and the final game may come down to an overtime finish like Gonzaga and UCLA’s game. Catch the final game of March Madness on April 5 on CBS.