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Baylor blows out Gonzaga to claim 2021 NCAA National Championship

The Bears led from wire-to-wire, smothering the previously-undefeated Bulldogs and pulling the upset to win the title.

MaCio Teague of the Baylor Bears reacts in the second half of the National Championship game of the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament against the Gonzaga Bulldogs at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 05, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The Baylor Bears are the kings of college basketball, with a 86-70 win over the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Monday night to claim the 2021 NCAA men’s basketball national championship.

Jared Butler led all scorers with 22 points, and the Bears dominated the glass 38-22 while shooting 10-23 from three-point range. The junior Butler was also named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.

The Zags (31-1) were 40 minutes from becoming the first undefeated team since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers. Instead their finish came up far short of what was necessary against a Baylor team that was more physical and made more shots. Gonzaga was just 5-17 from three-point range, and took 18 less shots overall because of all the conceded second opportunities via offensive rebounds.

It’s Baylor’s first national championship in their third appearance in the Final Four. The Bears reached the national semifinals in both 1948 and 1950. For head coach Scott Drew, it’s his first national championship in 17 seasons at the school that hired him away from Valparaiso in 2003.