The first half of the NCAA Tournament Championship game has been set – emphatically.
No.1 Baylor was just too much for the 2-seeded Houston side of Kelvin Sampson, edging the Cougars 45-20 in the first period and picking up an easy 78-79 win in Game 1 of the Final Four of Saturday.
Jared Butler was the star of a Bears team that produced five double-digit goalscorers: He produced 17 points on 6 of 9 shots (4 of 5 on 3-point range), four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Davion Mitchell was also excellent, securing a double-double with 12 points and 11 assists. Macio Teague (11 points), Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua (11 points) and Matthew Mayer (12 points) also scored in double digits, the latter two coming off the bench.
Houston’s best player was Marcus Sasser, who scored a high 20 points on 7 of 14 shots (5 of 9 to 3 points), four rebounds and two assists. Quentin Grimes overcame a scoreless first half to score 13 points in his last game. No other player has scored more than six points for the Cougars. Indeed, Sasser scored all but one of Houston’s first-half goals, and all but three points.
Baylor certainly looked like a seed of 1. Now the question is who they will face in the title game. Regardless, Sporting News has been keeping track of scoring updates and highlights from the first match of the Final Four. Below are the full results of the NCAA Tournament Semifinals:
Baylor score vs. Houston
|1 hour||2 hours||Final|
Baylor vs Houston live updates, 2021 Final Four highlights
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Second Half: Baylor 78, Houston 59
7.15 p.m .: And it will. Baylor wins 78-59 to advance to the national championship game.
7:12 p.m .: It’s that part of the game where the cameras go to the losing team’s sideline. Grimes shows a lot of emotion. He’s had a great year, but it wasn’t meant to be.
7:10 p.m .: And now Macio Teague becomes the fifth Baylor player to score in the double digits (11 points) with that 3-point pointer. It is 76-54 Baylor with 1:46 to play.
7:08 p.m .: Mitchell gets his double-double with this 3 (12 points, 11 assists), making it 73-53 Baylor.
7:07 p.m .: Baylor leads Houston 70-51 at the last media timeout (3:48).
7:01 p.m .: A Grimes 3 (his first in seven attempts) gives him 13 points and makes it 68-49 Bear.
7:00 p.m .: The snow 64-41 Baylor, but it’s less interesting than this statistic: The Bears outscore Houston 28-4 on points off the bench.
6:54 p.m .: Not much time goes by, but the bears still have a huge lead – 60-41 – at the third media timeout (7:47).
6.40 p.m .: Baylor’s Mark Vital (two points, one rebound, one steal) has his fourth foul in the second media timeout (11:59).
6.40 p.m .: Talk about the devil.
6:39 p.m .: Houston is shooting much better this half and narrowing Baylor’s lead. The snow 52-36 bears. Now if Houston can make a few stops. …
18:37: It is 52-32 Baylor at the first TV timeout of the second half.
18:33: A Sasser layup makes it 50-30 Baylor. Like trying to refloat a sinking boat with a thimble.
6.30 p.m .: Houston is credited with a turnover, giving the ball to B aylor, but it looks like the Bears defenseman was the last to touch him out of bounds.
6:28 p.m .: And there’s Grimes with his first bucket in six attempts, followed by a Jarreau bucket. The cougars are 3 out of 4 in the second half. The Bears still lead 49-26.
6:26 p.m .: Reggie Chaney only gets the second non-Sasser bucket for the Cougars in their opening possession of the half. It is 45-22 Baylor.
First Half: Baylor 45, Houston 20
6:07 p.m .: First half statistics:
- Field goals: Baylor 16 out of 28 (57.1 percent); Houston 7 of 26 (26.9%)
- 3 points: Baylor 8 out of 15 (35.7 percent); Houston 5 out of 14 (53.3 percent)
- Free throws: Baylor 5 out of 7 (71.4 percent); Houston 1 in 2 (50 percent)
- Rebounds: Baylor 20; Houston 11
- Help: Baylor 12; Houston 5
- Fly: Baylor 6; Houston 0
- Blocks: Baylor 0; Houston 3
- Turnover: Baylor 6; Houston 9
Baylor’s Butler and Houston’s Sasser are tied for a high of 17 points. Butler is 6 of 8 from the field and 4 of 5 from beyond the arc, adding four rebounds, two assists and one steal to his totals. Sasser is 6 of 11 from field and 5 of 8 from 3-point field; he also has two rebounds.
The difference between the two scores: Sasser’s teammates have a combined total of three points and a basket, while Butler got help from Mitchell (nine points) and the bench (17 points combined).
6:05 p.m .: Mitchell hits yet another 3 just before half-time to make it 45-20 Baylor. It’s called March Madness for a reason, but the second half looks a lot like a simple formality here.
6:03 p.m .: Mitchell is called for a long 2 to make 42-18. This is followed by a Houston bucket – from Sasser, of course – to do it. 42-20.
6:01 p.m .: Houston shot goes wrong – shocking – and Mayer gets tough layup on the other end to do it 40-18.
6:00 p.m .: Gorham hits first with a 1 and 1, but Baylor hits him out of bounds last. The Cougars have a chance of having a desperately needed bucket down 20.
5:58 p.m .: Gorham is called in for a trip just before trying a layup and an under rim. He’s not happy with it.
5:53 p.m .: A Butler layup is the last score before the final half-time media time-out. It is 38-17 bears with 3:53 to play.
5:52 p.m .: Adam Flager’s 3 does it 36-17 Baylor. It’s getting a bit early late for Houston.
5:51 p.m .: Here’s how amazing Sasser has been and how irrelevant all the other Cougars haven’t been: he’s 5 of 9 with 15 points. Everyone is 1 in 11 with a colon. Not a winning combination.
5:50 p.m .: … And that’s quickly followed by 3 consecutive Butler’s. Sasser keeps Houston in, but Butler keeps the Cougars at bay. This makes 33-17 Baylor, and Sampson is forced to take his second time out to stem the bleeding.
5:50 p.m .: Sasser has his fifth 3 of the game. He’s amazing tonight. This makes 27-17 Baylor.
5:48 p.m .: Houston has an easy defensive rebound but can’t bring it. Mayer therefore puts it for an easy rebound to succeed. 27-14 Baylor.
17:42: Charging in the last four? Butler gets a layup and one with Justin Gorham getting a blocking foul. It is 25-14 Baylor. This is the score in the third half-time media timeout (7:48).
5.40 p.m .: 3 more from Sasser. He has 4 for 7 on the field goal and 4 on 6 on 4. He alone keeps the Cougars in this game and shortens Baylor leads at 22-14.
17:36: A butler 3 (he’s 2 for 2) does it 22-11 Baylor. Kelvin Sampson called his first time out at 10:40 am on the left in the half; it’s Houston’s biggest deficit of the tournament.
17:32: Baylor leads 17-11 at second media timeout (11:52) 17-11. Baylor is 5 for 9 on field goals, while Houston is 4 of 10. Three of the Cougars’ four shots came from Sasser.
5.30 p.m .: In fact, there’s another Sasser 3. He’s 3 of 4 on field goals with nine points. Fortunately, that ends the Bears ’10-0 run and the Cougars’ drought. It is 16-11 Baylor.
17:28: It’s now a 10-0 Baylor run after Tchamwa Tchatchoua made a pair of free throws. Houston, meanwhile, has more turnovers (four) than field goals (three).
17:28: Houston has a drought lasting more than three minutes. I’m definitely going to want this fixed against a high powered Baylor attack.
5:26 p.m .: Baylor leads 13-8 in our first media timeout with 2:15 to go. Houston is 2 for 6 on a 3-point field, while Baylor is 3 for 3.
17:23: And now a jumper Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua from the free throw line is doing it 13-8 Baylor, the last of a 7-0 run for the Bears.
5:22 p.m .: Now Baylor’s Matthew Mayer kicks in with a 3. 11-8 Baylor.
5:20 p.m .: Another 3, this one by Sasser de Housto. This gives Cougars a 8-6 lead (DeJon Jarreau sweater).
5:18 p.m .: And there’s another 3 from Baylor’s Davion Mitchell to give Baylor his first lead to 6-3. Three buckets in this one, and they’re all 3.
5:18 p.m .: And there’s Jared Butler with his own 3 for Baylor at tie the game to 3-3.
5:17 p.m .: Marcus Sasser gets the game’s first bucket from a 3-point field to do it 3-0 Houston. Baylor’s subsequent possession ends with a trip.
5:16 p.m .: And Baylor’s opening possession ends in a shot clock violation; Jared Butler’s layup doesn’t hit the rim, and the Bears can’t get a rebound in time. Also: Watch DeJon Jarreau jump over a grown man:
5.15 p.m .: Baylor wins the tip. Here we are.
5:14 p.m .: The teams have made their entries. It only remains to play basketball.
Start time Baylor vs Houston
- Time: 5:14 p.m. ET | 2:14 p.m. PT
The Final Four game between Baylor and Houston is scheduled to begin at 5:14 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 3.
How to watch 2021 Final Four
CBS, which owns the exclusive broadcast rights for the 2021 Men’s Final Four, will broadcast both Baylor-Houston and Gonzaga-UCLA on Saturday.
Those with a cable subscription can stream the game on March Madness Live, the online home of every game in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. The Final Four can also be streamed live with fuboTV, which offers a free seven-day trial.
March Madness Final Four Calendar 2021
Saturday April 3
|No.1 Baylor vs. No.2 Houston||5 p.m.||CBS, fuboTV|
|Gonzaga No.1 vs. No.11 UCLA||8:30 p.m.||CBS, fuboTV|
NCAA Tournament National Championship
Monday April 5
|Game 67: # 1 Baylor vs. Gonzaga / UCLA||9 p.m.||CBS, fuboTV|