Men’s National Championship Game Set Between Baylor and Gonzaga
In a March madness filled with many upsets, the top two one seeds in the NCAA Tournament are set to face off in the championship game on Monday night.
The top seed champion from the South, the Baylor Bears, made easy work of the two-seeded Midwest champion Houston Cougars, 78-59, in the first final four matchup on Saturday. With the win, it is Baylor's first time in the NCAA Tournament Championship Game since 1948. Junior guard Jared Butler paced the Bears with 17 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Butler is from Reserve, Louisiana and is a graduate of Riverside Academy. The Louisiana native is a consensus 2021 first-team All-American guard for the Bears. Butler averaged 16.5 points per game, 4.8 assists per game and 3.3 rebounds per game this season.
Baylor senior forward Mark Vital is also from Louisiana. The Lake Charles native is a former Washington-Marion Charging Indian. Vital averages 5.7 points per game and 6.6 rebounds per game for the Bears.
The second final four matchup was a much more tightly-contested game between the 11th-seeded East champion UCLA Bruins and the undefeated top overall seeded West champion Gonzaga Bulldogs. Gonzaga freshman Jalen Suggs hit a game-winning three-point shot in overtime to lift the Bulldogs to the championship game in a dramatic 93-90 victory.
It is Gonzaga's second trip to the NCAA Tournament Championship Game. The last time they were there came in 2017 in a 71-65 loss to the North Carolina Tar Heels.
These final four results set up a NCAA championship game between the two teams that many considered to be the best teams all season long. Butler and Vital for Baylor will represent Louisiana in what fans will hope to be a classic end to an exciting tournament.