Baylor routs Gonzaga as Bears win first national title


The only opponent Gonzaga could not beat was its last. The previously-undefeated Bulldogs took their first loss of the season, falling 86-70 to No. 1 seed Baylor on Monday in the NCAA Tournament championship game.

In a stunningly lopsided season finale the Zags never once led in, Gonzaga's season ends with a 31-1 record and with Baylor celebrating its first national title.

Baylor was better from tip to final horn. It jumped out to a 9-0 lead. Which turned to 11-1. Which eventually turned to 29-10 less than 10 minutes into the game. It marked the largest deficit Gonzaga faced all season.

Despite this, Gonzaga had its share of runs, cutting the lead to 10 by halftime and to single digits in the second half. But Baylor had a bigger share of runs, led by 10 made 3-pointers and buttressed by a big game on the boards that gave it 18 more shot attempts. Its lead ballooned to as many as 20 in the second half, as it sucked the life out of the only team that never looked lifeless all season.

Led by Jared Butler's 22 points, Baylor won in its first national championship appearance since 1948 to mark its first national championship in program history.

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