Monday’s national championship game between NCAA Tournament top overall seeds Gonzaga and Baylor was supposed to be an emphatic finish to the 2020-21 college basketball season.
Baylor, at least, kept up its end of the bargain; Mark Few’s Bulldogs, however, were wholly outmatched against the bigger, more physical Bears team in the 86-70 loss, denying them an undefeated season.
The Bears continued their defensive dominance — which they displayed against Villanova and Houston — against the Bulldogs, holding all but two of their starters (Jalen Suggs and Joel Ayayi) to under 50 percent shooting. They also dominated on the boards, out-rebounding Gonzaga 38-22, including 16-5 on offensive rebounds and 22-17 on defensive boards.
Gonzaga might have been able to keep the game closer even with its shooting issues, but Baylor also showed up in a big way on offense. Jared Butler set the tone for the Bears with a 22-point, seven-assist night on 6-of-14 shooting (including 4 of 9 from 3). Davion Mitchell had 15 points, five assists and six rebounds. MaCio Teague was also excellent, scoring 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting. Adam Flagler added 13 points off the bench, shooting 3 of 6 from the field and 3 of 4 from 3.
Credit to Gonzaga, which withstood an early 9-0 deficit and overcame a 19-point lead by the Bears to get it back within single digits in the second half. Suggs led the way for Gonzaga, scoring 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting. Drew Timme and Corey Kispert also scored 12 points apiece in the losing effort.
Gonzaga vs. Baylor score
Gonzaga vs. Baylor live update, highlights from NCAA championship
All times Eastern
Final: Baylor 86, Gonzaga 70
11:26 p.m.: Final: Baylor 86, Gonzaga 70.
11:26 p.m.: Julian Strawther comes in off the bench for a corner 3. That makes it 86-70, and that should do it.
11:25 p.m.: Butler hits his two free throws to tie him with Suggs for a game-high 22 points. We’re under a minute now.
11:24 p.m.: Suggs hits a fastbreak layup to give him a game-high 22 points. No quit in him as he makes it 84-67.
11:23 p.m.: Mitchell powers his way for another layup to make it 84-65. Just complete destruction by the Bears.
11:22 p.m.: Nembhard missed 3. Lots of those for Gonzaga.
11:20 p.m.: Well, that was quick. Baylor timeout (3:15).
11:17 p.m.: 82-65 Baylor with the final media timeout (3:18). It seems like these last few minutes are little more than a formality.
11:15 p.m.: There’s another steal by the Bears, their seventh of the game. It’s 80-63 Baylor approaching the final media timeout.
11:13 p.m.: Ayayi is hurt after he and Timme both go for the same offensive rebound. He’s favoring his right leg and limping off the court.
11:11 p.m.: Suggs makes a nice defensive play, and Butler is called for a flagrant 1 for holding to keep him off the breakaway. Suggs hits 1 of 2 to make it 77-63. Zags ball.
11:10 p.m.: CBS came back with the game already in action, but it seems as if Kispert scored a 3 to make it 75-62.
11:05 p.m.: Mitchell is called for his second foul, though it looks like it should have been an arrow situation. Either way, Gonzaga will shoot two out of the break (7:42).
11:04 p.m.: Nembhard misses both free throws to keep the score 75-59 in favor of Baylor.
11:03 p.m.: And now Thamba’s fouled out on the offensive rebound attempt. Vital gets his third on the other end.
11:03 p.m.: Timme’s on the sideline taking medicine and getting his left hip stretched.
11:02 p.m.: Another Suggs 3 makes it 75-59. They’ll need a few more of those, and quickly, with time winding down under nine minutes.
11:01 p.m.: Another example in the “Baylor is physically manhandling Gonzaga” show: The Bears are out-rebounding them 28-17.
11 p.m.: Suggs hits a 3 to make it 73-56. That’s the Zags’ first 3 in nine attempts.
10:59 p.m.: Mitchell hits two free throws to make it 73-53, which is now Baylor’s biggest lead of the game.
10:58 p.m.: Matthew Mayer hits a short jumper to make it 71-53 Baylor.
10:57 p.m.: And there’s Timme’s fourth foul on an offensive charge on the other end. He has 12 points and is heading to the bench.
10:57 p.m.: Butler sinks both his free throws out of the timeout. Baylor hasn’t had much from there but it’s not missing. It’s 69-53 Baylor.
10:54 p.m.: 67-53 Baylor at the media timeout (11:45).
10:51 p.m.: Baylor is 10 of 18 from 3. Gonzaga is 1 of 8. That’s going to need to change if the Zags want back in this.
10:48 p.m.: Incredible sequence for Baylor there. Vital blocks the shot on the one end and Flagler scores a 3 on the other. That makes it 67-51 Baylor; they’re not letting up off the gas.
10:47 p.m.: Butler sinks a pair of free throws to make it 62-49 Baylor.
10:46 p.m.: Nembhard gets a tough layup to make it 58-49. This is the first single-digit deficit for Gonzaga since Baylor opened up 9-0.
10:46 p.m.: And now Tchatchoua is on the bench with four fouls.
10:44 p.m.: Tchatchoua gets a massive alley-oop dunk to make it 58-46 out of the timeout. Gonzaga is asleep defensively.
10:40 p.m.: Baylor ball at the first TV timeout (15:51).
10:37 p.m.: Suggs gets an and-one opportunity. Thamba heads to the bench with his fourth personal foul. Suggs misses the free throw to make it 56-45 Bears.
10:36 p.m.: Kispert seems to have a stinger after fouling Thamba. He’s exiting the game to be looked at by trainers. Thamba hits the end of a pair to make it 56-43 Bears.
10:34 p.m.: And another 3! Butler’s 4 of 6 from that range to make it 53-39 — dangers of the zone defense.
10:33 p.m.: Good defense by Gonzaga out of the gate, but Butler starts the half with a contested 3 to make it 50-37 Bears.
First half: Baylor 47, Gonzaga 37
10:12 p.m.: First-half stats:
- Field goals: Baylor 19 of 38 (50 percent); Gonzaga 12 of 22 (54.5 percent)
- 3-pointers: Baylor 7 of 12 (58.3 percent); Gonzaga 1 of 7 (16.7 percent)
- Free throws: Baylor 2 of 2 (100 percent); Gonzaga 12 of 13 (92.3 percent)
- Rebounds: Baylor 16; Gonzaga 10
- Assists: Baylor 12; Gonzaga 9
- Steals: Baylor 5; Gonzaga 2
- Blocks: Baylor 2; Gonzaga 1
- Turnovers: Baylor 5; Gonzaga 8
- Fouls: Baylor 11; Gonzaga 6
- Biggest lead: Baylor 19; Gonzaga N/A
Butler and Teague are the scoring leaders for Baylor, scoring 10 and 14 points, respectively. Butler also has four assists. Timme (10 points) is the only player in double-digit scoring for Gonzaga. Kispert, Suggs and Nembhard have seven points apiece.
10:11 p.m.: And they sink it with 2 seconds left; Nembhard dishes to Anton Watson for the finish to make it 47-37 Baylor at the half. The Zags had a 9-2 run at the end of the half, including the last five points.
10:10 p.m.: Mitchell has a shot clock violation with 6.7 seconds left in the half. Last shot for Gonzaga to get back within double digits before the half.
10:09 p.m.: Gonzaga has 13 free throw attempts to Baylor’s two.
10:09 p.m.: Suggs gets an and-one opportunity; Vital gets his second foul, and now foul concern is serious for Baylor. Suggs makes the shot to make it 47-35 with 38.4 left in the half.
10:07 p.m.: Timme gets two from the charity stripe to make it 45-32 Bears with 1:20 left in the half.
10:06 p.m.: Tchatchoua’s third foul sends Nembhard to the line, where he sinks both to make it 45-30 Bears.
10:04 p.m.: Teague takes all the air out of Gonzaga’s run with five quick points out of the timeout. It’s back to 43-26 Baylor.
10 p.m.: Gonzaga scores two more buckets from Kispert and Ayayi to make it 38-26; timeout Bears (3:41).
10 p.m.: … Followed by a Mitchell 3. It’s 38-22 Bears.
10 p.m.: Gonzaga is on a 6-0 run to make it 35-22.
9:58 p.m.: Interesting development: Baylor’s Butler, Thamba and Tchatchoua all have two fouls.
9:53 p.m.: Another turnover, this one by Suggs, leads to fastbreak points for Baylor on the other end. Bears have 13-0 points off turnovers as part of their 33-14 lead.
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. Gonzaga 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
- Time: 9:20 p.m. ET | 6:20 p.m. PT
- Broadcast team: Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Grant Hill, Bill Raftery (analysts), Tracy Wolfson (reporter), Gene Steratore (rules analyst)
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
|No. 1 Baylor 78, No. 2 Houston 59|
|No. 1 Gonzaga 93, No. 11 UCLA 90 (OT)|
NCAA Tournament national championship
Monday, April 5
|Game 67: No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 1 Baylor||9:20 p.m.||CBS, fuboTV|