College Basketball

NCAA Men's Tournament Top Moments: National Championship

April 6

A champion has been crowned.

The Gonzaga Bulldogs and Baylor Bears were on a collision course for this moment all season.

For the first time since the 2005 national championship between the Illinois Fighting Illini and the North Carolina Tar Heels, the top two teams in the AP poll faced each other for all of the marbles.

Baylor left no question as to which was the best college basketball team in the country this season with an emphatic, 86-70 win over Gonzaga.

Here are the top moments of the national championship game.

Bear down

Baylor could not have asked for a better start to the championship. The Bears started the game on a 9-0 run before taking an 11-1 lead into the first media timeout.

The fast start caught Gonzaga — and viewers — by surprise.

Pouring it on

The onslaught continued for the Bears, as they started 5-for-5 from 3-point range and built their lead to as many as 19 points.

For as hot as they started from deep, their defense was just as impactful.

Gonzaga makes a run

The Bulldogs showed signs of life late in the first half, with a surge to cut the Baylor lead to 10 at halftime.

Normally, a 10-point halftime deficit would be cause for concern, but considering how this one started, the Zags' run was seen by many as a win for Gonzaga.

Baylor stays hot

Basketball is a game of runs, and Baylor responded to Gonzaga's push to close the first half with a run of its own, keyed by back-to-back Jared Butler 3-pointers.

That hot shooting from Butler energized Baylor on both ends, with the Bears pushing the lead back to 16 points with this Mark Vital block that led to an Adam Flagler 3-pointer.

Keep shooting

Not much went right for the Zags against Baylor, but Jalen Suggs' effort was there all game.

Baylor reigns supreme

For the first time in program history, the Baylor men's basketball team is the national champion.

The Bears' star guard trio of Butler, MaCio Teague and Davion Mitchell combined for 56 points and made seven of the Bears' 10 3-pointers.

Social media reacted to Baylor's decisive and dominant victory with praise for the Bears' performance and the job Scott Drew has done rebuilding the program.


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