Baylor Ruins Gonzaga’s Perfect Season

On April 5, Baylor defeated Gonzaga in the championship of the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament. 

Baylor shocked the world and dismantled the Bulldogs, 86-70, destroying Gonzaga’s perfect season. 

“I was not expecting Gonzaga to lose, especially not like the way they did. They were playing so well they looked unbeatable. However, Baylor proved the nation wrong,” said sophomore Max Crandall. 

Baylor and Gonzaga both entered the championship game as a number one seed for the tournament. Therefore, this matchup was not unexpected. However, Gonzaga entered this game with a perfect record of 31-0, hoping to complete their dream season. 

Baylor had different ideas and despite having a record of 27-2 entering the game they were an underdog. They did not play like an underdog though as they held the lead the entire game and Gonzaga did not come close to Baylor’s high powered offense. 

“When I was watching the game it looked like Jalen Suggs was doing everything he could, but it wasn’t enough to keep up with Baylor’s scoring,” said senior Ellie Foley.

Jalen Suggs is a freshman for Gonzaga who is a future top 10 nba draft pick. Suggs recorded 22 points along with shooting over 50% from the field. Despite his constant efforts Baylor didn’t flinch and three of their starters combined for 56 points alone. 

Suggs left it all on the floor, but Gonzaga did not look as dominant as they did in the past. 

“I’m not sure if it was because of the last game but Gonzaga came out and looked flat. It appeared that Baylor had more energy and their defense was much more sound,” said senior Emily Collins. 

Gonzaga’s previous semi-final game was against UCLA. The game was a hard fought battle throughout and was constantly neck and neck. The game featured 15 ties and 19 lead changes and ultimately went into overtime. With a couple seconds left UCLA hit a layup to tie the game. The ball was thrown into Suggs and he threw up a near half court heave at the buzzer that banked in to win it for the Bulldogs, 93-90. 

Therefore, one reason for Gonzaga’s low energy could be due to their emotional drainage from the previous game. Another large aspect of the game was Gonzaga’s poor performance from behind the arc. 

“Gonzaga just did not perform as well as they did in past games. They were not hitting open shots that they usually make while Baylor was shooting consistently well throughout the game,” said Crandall.

Surprisingly, Gonzaga shot about six percent better than Baylor. However, three point shooting and poor possessions hurt the Bulldogs. The Bears shot an astonishing 43.5% from three while Gonzaga shot a poor 29.4%. Additionally, Baylor was able to take 67 total shots while Gonzaga was only able to get off 49.  

Moreover, Baylor dominated Gonzaga in nearly every statistic and they never flinched at the Bulldog’s undefeated record or future NBA star. This exceptional performance led the Bears to their first men’s basketball championship in school history and they hope to retain the trophy again in upcoming years.