One game separates Gonzaga and Baylor from eternal — and first-time— glory.
The Bulldogs and Bears, who are considered the consensus top two teams not only in the NCAA Tournament but also all of college basketball, will face off against each other for the right to claim the 2021 men’s national championship on Monday.
History will be made regardless of who wins: Gonzaga can become the first undefeated team in college basketball since Indiana in 1975-76, and Baylor can win the first March Madness title for the Lone Star State since Texas Western (now known as UTEP) in 1966.
While history certainly is on the line, the far more interesting storylines will be on the court. Will Mark Few’s team — led by the fearsome trio of Drew Timme, Jalen Suggs and Corey Kispert — complete its run of dominance? Even if one of them lags, it’s worth noting each of the Bulldogs’ starters, including Joel Ayayi and Andrew Nembhard, scored in double digits in their Final Four game vs. UCLA. Only Nembhard (4-of-9 shooting) shot less than 50 percent.
Baylor, though, is no slouch. It has beaten each of its previous March Madness opponents by multiple possessions and it roundly embarrassed 2-seed Houston in the Final Four. The Bears have their own troublesome triad of players in Jared Butler, Davion Mitchell and Macio Teague, and they enjoyed tremendous defensive success against the Cougars.
Can Baylor coach Scott Drew devise a scheme to stop the Zags’ attack, or will the Bulldogs prevail once more? Sporting News is tracking live scoring updates and highlights from Gonzaga vs. Baylor in the 2021 NCAA Tournament championship. Follow below for complete results from the college basketball national title game.
Gonzaga vs. Baylor score
Gonzaga vs. Baylor live update, highlights from NCAA championship
All times Eastern
9:49 p.m.: Timme is called for an offensive foul; meanwhile, Gonzaga has seven turnovers to Baylor’s two. They’re getting manhandled in every sense of the word.
9:46 p.m.: Teague hits another 3 to make it 29-10 Baylor. They’re now 5 of 5 from that range.
9:44 p.m.: Butler hits a step-back 3 to make it 26-10 Bears. Baylor is 4 of 4 from beyond the arc. That’s a direct result of this Thamba block on the other end:
9:43 p.m.: Nembhard hits two free throws to get the Zags in double digits at 23-10.
9:40 p.m.: Gonzaga will head to the charity stripe coming out of the second media timeout (11:42). Baylor’s lead is still significant at 23-8.
9:39 p.m.: Baylor forces three turnovers on Gonzaga, two of which came from Timme. Baylor has zero to Gonzaga’s five.
9:37 p.m.: Uh-oh. Baylor forces the turnover, and Adam Flagler scores a 3 on the other end. That makes it 21-6 Baylor — the largest deficit for Gonzaga all season.
9:36 p.m.: Timme gets a drive to the rim to get his first score. It’s 16-6 Bears.
9:33 p.m.: Mitchell and Butler retaliate with a jumper and 3-point to make it 16-4 Baylor. Bulldogs have no answer for them defensively yet. They have seven points apiece. Gonzag timeout (14:25).
9:32 p.m.: Right on cue, Kispert gets the Zags’ first basket with a timely 3. It’s 11-4 Baylor.
9:31 p.m.: A big part of the Zags’ early deficit: Baylor is out-rebounding Gonzaga 6-2.
9:27 p.m.: Nembhard hits the second of a pair of free throws to get on the board at the 16:16 mark. That’s followed promptly by a Mitchell jumper to make it 11-1 Baylor at the media timeout (15:30).
9:26 p.m.: Suggs is hit with his second foul before the media timeout. He has zero points.
9:25 p.m.: And another Butler drive makes it 9-0 Bears, giving them the biggest lead over the Zags all tournament.
9:24 p.m.: Mitchell hits a 3 to make it 7-0 Bears. Zags looking a little slow early.
9:23 p.m.: And now a bucket by Butler to make it 4-0 Baylor; Vital gets his third offensive board of the game. The Bears are out-rebounding Gonzaga 4-0 early.
9:22 p.m.: Vital misses a couple of easy layups, but Mitchell gets the jumper with Ayayi in defense to make it 2-0 Baylor.
9:22 p.m.: Baylor wins the tipoff and we are underway!
9:17 p.m.: And now Gonzaga’s: Drew Timme; Corey Kispert; Jalen Suggs; Andrew Nembhard; and Joel Ayayi.
9:15 p.m.: Baylor’s starters: Flo Thamba; Mark Vital; Jared Butler; Macio Teague; and Davion Mitchell.
9:13 p.m.: Joe Hamm with a nice pregame message:
Gonzaga vs. Baylor start time
The national championship game between Gonzaga and Baylor is scheduled to tip off at 9:20 p.m. ET on Monday, April 5.
What channel is Gonzaga vs. Baylor on?
CBS, which has exclusive broadcast rights for the 2021 Final Four, will broadcast Gonzaga vs. Baylor.
Those with a cable subscription can stream the game on March Madness Live, the online home of every 2021 NCAA Tournament game. The Final Four can also be streamed live with fuboTV, which offers a seven-day free trial.
March Madness Final Four schedule 2021
Saturday, April 3
NCAA Tournament national championship
Monday, April 5
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