Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs (1) celebrates after making a basket during the second half of the championship game against Baylor in the men's Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Monday, April 5, 2021, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Close, But No Cigar for Gonzaga

Gonzaga. So close.

The Bulldogs were one win away from joining the likes of UCLA, North Carolina, San Francisco and Indiana.

On the cusp of history and perfection, the Bulldogs fell just short.

Strong Start to the Season

The Dogs started off the season strong, defeating Kansas 102-90 and Auburn 90-67 in the Fort Meyers Tipoff.

Other notable victories include wins over ranked opponents Virginia and Iowa.

Things looked great for the Dogs, but two positive COVID tests forced the team to suspend operations in December of 2020.

Drew Timme blocking

Baylor guard Jared Butler shoots over Gonzaga forward Drew Timme (2) during the second half of the championship game in the men’s Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Monday, April 5, 2021, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Pack Leaders

Forwards Drew Timme and Corey Kispert lead Gonzaga in scoring. The two averaged 19 and 18.6 points per game respectively.

Freshman guard Jalen Suggs was also a force to be reckoned with, averaging 14 points in 30 games played.

Proud Off the Court

Gonzaga Head coach Mark Few praised the team for being easy to coach. He also was happy with how COVID was dealt with by the team.

Suggs, who had not yet lost a game of college hoops, was emotional after the Championship loss to Baylor.

“I think in his mind, he saw us cutting down the nets at the end of this,” said Few.

As time goes by, said Few, Suggs will get a better perspective on things and realize the impact he had on the team.

Canceled vs Baylor; What Could Have Been

Ultimately, Gonzaga fell to the Baylor Bears in the Championship game, losing 86-70.

Scheduled for Dec. 5, 2020, the would-be finalists of the NCAA Tournament were supposed to meet before the post-season. If played, would Baylor have beaten Gonzaga? If Baylor prevailed in the hypothetical game, would Gonzaga have kept up the momentum the took them to the Finals?

https://twitter.com/ZagMBB/status/1379295369591394304

About Matthew Bell

Matthew Bell is a senior at the University of Florida. He completed his associates degree at State College of Florida in Bradenton and transferred to UF in 2019. His favorite sports are American football and baseball.

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