Photo Courtesy: @Baylor Twitter

NCAA Men’s National Title Battle: Gonzaga vs. Baylor Preview and Predictions

The NCAA Men’s Championship game is finally here with a battle of the No. 1 seeds. The undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs (31-0) battle the Baylor Bears (27-2) for the men’s national championship title Monday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:20 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium. This is the fifth time since 1999 that two No. 1 seeds will meet in this championship match-up.

What the Coaches Have to Say

There is no doubt this will be a great game just based on the talent level alone. Both of these teams are incredible in what each has accomplished throughout this tournament. While anything can happen, both teams have handled the expectations and pressure of this tournament very well, said Scott Drew, head coach of Baylor men’s basketball team.

One thing Gonzaga will have to look out for is Baylor’s backcourt trio. Drew said his trio has stood the test of time, and played in the highest of competition and been successful. He believes his backcourt trio will go down in history as one of the best backcourts in college basketball.

For a shot at the title, the Bears will have to make sure Gonzaga doesn’t score any easy points. It’s important for Baylor to keep Gonzaga out of transition to keep them from scoring the points they normally do in transition, Drew said.

As for Gonzaga, the Bulldogs will have to watch out for Baylor’s guards. Mark Few, head coach of the Gonzaga men’s basketball team, says that Baylor’s guards are complete and “guard their yard defensively.”

He continued saying the Bear’s defense is handsy and makes the right reads during games.

One player Baylor will have to keep pressure on is Jalen Suggs. In Gonzaga’s Final Four matchup against UCLA, Suggs scored the game-winner with a buzzer-beating three-point shot. His performance in that game sums up who he is as a player. He has crazy confidence in his ability to make amazing game-winning shots like that, Few said.

Prediction

It’s easy to find reasons why each team has a shot at victory. Gonzaga seems to always find a way to score in the most unpredictable ways. This team is highly motivated to keep its spotless record. Not to mention, seeing the Bulldogs win this title with a perfect record would be historical.

As for Baylor, its offense will be the toughest Gonzaga has faced throughout this tournament. The Bears have beaten most of its opponents in this tournament by 10-plus points. Baylor is one of the best teams at three-point shots and could have its best shooting performance in Monday night’s game.

In this epic court battle, the odds seem somewhat more in Baylor’s favor. The Bears are going to be fueled at the shot of possibly being the only team to defeat the undefeated Bulldogs. While Gonzaga pulls off last-second game-winners, Baylor has won most games in this tournament by double digits. Gonzaga may have Suggs, but can their defense keep up with Baylor’s offense? We will see who the confetti falls upon.

About Kaitlyn Wadulack

Kaitlyn Wadulack is a second-year Journalism student specializing in Sports and Media at the University of Florida. You can reach Kaitlyn at k.wadulack@ufl.edu.

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