Baylor only had 48 hours to prepare for undefeated Gonzaga. Despite that small window, head coach Scott Drew and his staff devised the perfect strategy. And on the national championship stage, the players executed to perfection.
The plan? Brilliant, yet basic: Make a bunch of shots. If you miss, get the rebound and make a bunch more shots.
Genius, they say.
Basketball can be a complicated game, but Baylor required nothing fancy to rout Gonzaga 86-70 and secure the first men’s national title in program history. It was a thorough, fundamental-driven blowout Monday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Among the Bears’ first 20 shots, they hit 11—including five threes—and also grabbed six of their nine misses. At the halfway mark of the opening half, Baylor had rocketed to a 19-point lead.
No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga never gave in, but the Bears’ advantage hardly dissipated. They held a double-digit edge for 34:02 of the 40-minute game, preventing the West Coast Conference powerhouse from becoming the first undefeated men’s national champion since the 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers.