For the first time in school history, the National Championship trophy is heading to Waco, Texas, as the Baylor Bears dismantle Gonzaga 86-70. From the opening tip-off to the final buzzer, it was all Baylor as they proved once and for all they belonged at the big boy table.
Head Coach Scott Drew had his Baylor Bears ready for anything they would see with Gonzaga. There was very little doubt as to who wanted the Championship more. Baylor won the Championship by playing with a level of intensity and excellence on the defensive side of the court that the College Basketball world has not seen in years. It got to the point where Gonzaga didn’t have an answer for the Baylor defense.
At one point late in the first half, there seemed to be a light bulb that went off in the heads of the Gonzaga Bulldogs. The Bulldogs went on a little run just before the half to cut the deficit to ten. From there, Baylor came out with a vengeance in the second half burying Gonzaga early and cruising to their first-ever National Championship.
As far as Gonzaga goes, sure, the loss to Baylor was heartbreaking. With that being said, a loss in the National Championship game to an amazing Baylor team is nothing to hang their head-on. Head Coach Mark Few has built this Gonzaga program into something that many thought to be impossible at a smaller school like Gonzaga. When folks look back on this Gonzaga team, they won’t talk about the one loss to Baylor. They will talk about a program that shaped how we few mid-majors in the modern game of College Basketball. The faces might change, but Head Coach Mark Few will eventually cross the finish line with this program and bring a National Championship trophy home to Gonzaga. It’s only a matter of time.
As far as Baylor goes, expect Head Coach Scott Drew to have the Bears back in the thick of things next year as Baylor will be hungry for a repeat. As long as Scott Drew is the Head Coach at Baylor, the Bears will be in contention every year for championships. Expect this team to be just the starting point for this program as they head into a bright future of Baylor basketball.