The 2021 NCAA March Madness tournament has been one of the wildest in recent memory. Upset after upset, Oregon State making a deep run. PAC-12 dominating and ACC faltering. The Final Four on Saturday lived up to the hype, well, not the first game.
All in all, the field is set for the National Championship game Monday night. One school with be the champs, the other the unfortunate, albeit still proud, runner-up.
Let’s dive in and recap these wild games on Saturday in the Final Four.
The Incredible Final Four
It was wild, it was whacky, and it was madness. Most of all, it was exciting and ended in fantastic fashion, one that nobody imagined a couple of weeks back when the field was announced.
March is always unpredictable, and the turn of the calendar kept it that way.
Final Four Game 1: Baylor rolls past Houston
An all-Texas battle in the first game of the Final Four. The one-seed Baylor Bears versus the two-seed Houston Cougars, something that wasn’t too far off from the expected.
Scott Drew and the Bears rolled from start to finish with a final of 78-59. Baylor was up by 25 at the half and never looked back. Houston shot just 38 percent from the field compared to Baylor’s 52.7 percent clip. The Bears had five players in double-figures and continued their successful season- to the surprise of nobody.
Houston’s terrific season comes to a close, with head coach Kelvin Sampson and the Cougars holding their heads up high. They lost four games all year, which is a testament to the job Sampson has done.
Baylor was expecting to win, and their reaction after the final buzzer was a bit surprising.
— Baylor Basketball (@BaylorMBB) April 4, 2021
For just the second time in school history, first since 1948, the Bears are playing for a national title.
Final Four Game 2: Gonzaga sneaks by UCLA in OT.
This was an instant classic, one of the best tournament games of all time.
UCLA- an 11-seed that beat Michigan State in the First Four- made it all the way to the Final Four. Seriously, who would’ve thought?
Saturday evening, primetime, stage set. What do the Bruins do? They fight tooth and nail to the finish, literally to the last second.
Gonzaga crawled into the half with a one-point lead, score 45-44. It went back and forth like a see-saw from start to finish. Gonzaga hit a shot, UCLA answered. All night long.
Then came the fireworks. Zags went up five with just over a minute left in OT. Jaquez answered again with a huge three. Kispert missed a three and UCLA had the ball, down two with less than 20 seconds left.
— BetOnline.ag (@betonline_ag) April 4, 2021
Suggs was ICE COLD. How did he celebrate?
Jalen Suggs is special. An iconic moment. pic.twitter.com/EKlhmnl2Dy
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) April 4, 2021
It’s ok, he earned it.
Each one of the Zags starters finished in double-figures again, and Mark Few’s squad is out to make history.
What a game, what a tournament, what a run by UCLA. Let’s not forget this UCLA team was a First Four team that almost missed the field completely. Oh, and Juzang made school history, putting his name in the Bruins record books.
Johnny Juzang finished with 137 points in the NCAA Tournament.
That's the 2nd most points by a UCLA player in a single NCAA Tournament.
Gail Goodrich had 140 points in 1965. pic.twitter.com/RfsRREzCuj
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 4, 2021
Wild finish, a fitting end to what’s been an upside-down, can-you-believe-it type of tournament.
National Title Game
The stage is now officially set. Baylor vs Gonzaga, the matchup people have been waiting for all year.
Monday night, 6:20 pacific time in Indianapolis. Will Gonzaga make history and finish the year unblemished? Or will Scott Drew and the Baylor Bears bring a title home?
Gear up, it’s going to be terrific.