No.1 Gonzaga will meet No.1 Baylor in the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship game on Monday.
Tipoff is scheduled for 9:20 p.m. ET at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The game will be televised by CBS.
Gonzaga (31-0) won the Western Region under coach Mark Few and advanced to the championship game with a thrilling 93-90 overtime win over 11th UCLA on Saturday. Jalen Suggs’ 3-point pointer was the highlight, and the Bulldogs hope to carry that momentum into the Championship game. Suggs, Drew Timme and Corey Kispert are All-America playmakers trying to cap off this perfect season.
Baylor (27-2) won the Southern Region under coach Scott Drew and advanced to the Championship game with a 78-59 victory over No.2 Houston in the Final Four. The Bears are in the National Championship game for the first time since 1948. Baylor’s guard trio of Jared Butler, MaCio Teague and Davion Mitchell have hit double digits against the Cougars.
Here’s everything you need to know about betting Gonzaga vs. Baylor in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, including updated odds, trends and our predictions for the Final Four game.
Gonzaga vs Baylor odds
- Propagated: Gonzaga -5
- More under: 160
- Moneyline: Gonzaga -245, Baylor +188
Three betting trends to watch out for
– The Bulldogs have been favored every game and are 16-13-2 ATS this season. Gonzaga is 5-1 CÉP against the top 25 opponents and 4-1 CÉP in this year’s tournament.
– Baylor is 19-10 ATS this season, but this is his first game as an underdog. Baylor is 4-1 ATS in this year’s tournament.
– Baylor are 10-3 ATS and 13-0 S / U in non-conference games. Gonzaga is 9-5 ATS and 14-0 S / U in non-conference games.
History of the Final Four
Gonzaga is in his second national championship game; the first was a 71-65 loss to North Carolina on April 3, 2017. The Bulldogs may become the first undefeated Division I men’s basketball team since Indiana finished 32-0 in the 1975- season. 76. Baylor will play in his second title game. The Bears lost to Kentucky 58-42 at the 1948 Men’s National Championship.
Key players in Gonzaga
Timme (19.0 ppg) was a force throughout the tournament. He scored 25 points in the semifinals against UCLA. Kispert (18.9 ppg) and Suggs (14.0 ppg) form a dynamic backcourt. Joel Ayayi (11.8 ppg) and Andrew Nembhard (9.1 ppg) also hit double digits against the Bruins. Bulldogs do not have a deep bench.
Key players at Baylor
Baylor uses an eight-man rotation, but it all starts with guards Butler (16.5 ppg), Teague (15.9 ppg) and Mitchell (14.0 ppg). They average almost 12 assists per game, and they combined for 40 points in the win over Houston. Baylor’s supporting cast includes Adam Flagler (9.0 ppg), Matthew Mayer (8.2 ppg), Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua (6.3 ppg), Mark Vital (5.7 ppg) and Flo Thamba (3.6 ppg).
Best Individual Game: Jalen Suggs vs. Davion Mitchell
There are popcorn GIFs for this sort of thing. Mitchell is the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, and the 6-2, 205-pound guard is a widebody who disrupts the perimeter. Suggs, a 6-4, 205-pound goalie, is one of the best – if not the best – players in the country outside of the disc, and he’s shot better than 50 percent from the floor for the season. The Bears have improved their defense in the last three games of the tournament, allowing just 60.7 points per game. Mitchell has been at the center of this.
Gonzaga vs Baylor stats you should know
UCLA pushed Gonzaga over the brink by shooting 57.6% off the ground. It was the highest field goal percentage against the Bulldogs this season. The other two teams to shoot 50 percent or better? Kansas (53.2%) and Oklahoma (50%). Gonzaga won both of those games, but those Big 12 schools were successful on the offensive side. Baylor can have that success, and he can win with his defense as well.
Get to know . . . Mayer and Tchamwa Tchatchoua
The two combined for 23 points and 10 rebounds against Houston in the Final Four, and both played over 20 minutes. They are energetic players who will be invaluable on defense given how Gonzaga can push the tempo for 40 minutes. Tchamwa Tchatchoua, a 6-8 Cameroon striker, will likely see valuable minutes against Timme. Mayer has averaged 4.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game in the tournament. They will have to contribute so that the bears draw out anger.
Gonzaga vs Baylor prediction
Gonzaga was supposed to win in a blowout and Baylor in a tight one in the Final Four. These roles have been reversed. Still, the Bulldogs did what UNLV and Kentucky couldn’t in 1991 and 2015, respectively: reach the championship game.
The Bears can score with the Bulldogs, which should lead to a furious first half and a slim lead from Gonzaga in intermission. Baylor defended the 3-point ball well during the tournament, but the common thread to their two losses this season (Kansas, Oklahoma State) was a shooting night. If the bears are gone, Gonzaga will win in an eruption.
Mitchell will match Suggs, but Kispert and Timme will launch the offense in the second half. The Bulldogs delay Baylor’s late charge with free throws, seal the perfect season and win a domestic championship worth the wait.
Final score: Gonzaga 85, Baylor 81