(1) Gonzaga vs (1) Baylor
Line: Gonzaga -4.5
Time: 9:20 PM
It is time for the game college basketball fans have been waiting to see all season. The two teams that have been ranked 1 and 2 throughout the year have trudged through a tournament filled with upsets to finally face off. The two best backcourts the NCAA has to offer will finally be facing off on the biggest stage of them all.
Gonzaga is coming off one of the most thrilling wins in NCAA tournament history. Jaylen Suggs hit a 40-foot heave at the buzzer to take down UCLA in overtime and send the Zags to the championship game. Their offense looked great as usual in the game but they consistently struggled to get stops. Gonzaga is going to need all the offense they can get to take down Baylor. Mark Few’s motion offense centered around back door courts and getting his players into the paint will be key. Drew Timme will also be the main feature of their offense as the Baylor bigs are their team’s weakest area.
Baylor is fresh off a great performance against Houston where they showed off their defense in a 19-point victory. Their defensive rotations have been great, allowing them to trap the ball freely as the recovery and closeouts off of kick-outs are back to mid-season form. The Baylor backcourt is the most lethal in college basketball as they can do everything on both sides of the ball. They also have two stellar scorers off the bench in Adam Flagler and Matt Mayer, who can provide a spark at any point. Scott Drew will be focused on keeping pace with Gonzaga and forcing live-ball turnovers.
Gonzaga Keys to the Game
- Feed Timme in the post and attack the Baylor bigs
- Focus on driving the ball and getting paint touches
- Get Kispert open looks from 3
- Defend the 3 point line (better defensive rotations)
- Control the defensive glass
- limit live-ball turnovers
Baylor Keys to the Game
- Limit Gonzaga in transition
- Guards need to keep their man in front and limit Gonzaga paint touches
- Crash the offensive glass and kick out for open 3’s
- Davion Mitchell to lock down Suggs
- Double Timme in the post and closeout on shooters when he passes out
- Force live-ball turnovers with traps and good defensive rotations