Bulldogs broken by badass Bears


A high-flying college basketball season ended tonight. The national tournaments, both men's and women's, provided more thrills and excitement than anyone could have hoped for. They were uplifting, at a time when this country really needed it.

But the last game on the men's side was a dud, as the Baylor Bears outright stomped the previously undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs. Baylor, clearly the superior team, came out on fire. They were up 11 points right off the bat. Soon the lead was 19. They never looked back. The final score was 86–70. There wasn't much "garbage time," when the players merely go through the motions, but it was never close.

The announcers badly wanted Gonzaga to win, so that they could keep crowing their "perfect season" narrative. "We're witnessing history," one of them gushed as the game got under way. In the second half, they were quick to point out at one point that the lead had been "cut to single digits." But it was only for a few seconds. Before long, the spread was 19 points again.

For Gonzaga, which was ranked No. 1 in the country all season long, it was a rude awakening. The players from Baylor were bigger, stronger, faster, and all-around better, both on offense and on defense.

You wonder how things would have gone if Gonzaga had played a tougher schedule – as they would have, say, in the Pac-12 Conference. They would have lost a game or two along the way. They almost lost to UCLA a couple of nights ago, saved by a Hail Mary thrown up at the buzzer in overtime by their phenomenal freshman, Jalen Suggs. (That guy is something else.) Their hype as the nation's best team got a little bit ahead of them. Their Dan Fogelberg types in the headbands seemed a bit overrated. But you have to hand it to them, they played a full schedule and won every game until Baylor.

So wow, Baylor. Other than being happy to see them eliminate Houston in the semi's – the incessant Clyde Drexler references got old fast – I hadn't paid much attention to the Bears' individual players. But they were awesome tonight. Jared Butler, MaCio Teague (pictured), Davion Mitchell, Mark Vital – may they all keep ballin' on my screens from somewhere in the seasons ahead.

And so I guess it's on to pro basketball now. The Blazers' big guy, Jusuf Nurkic, sat out tonight with a knee issue. What else is new? Meanwhile Gary Trent Jr., just let go by Portland, nailed a basket at the buzzer to win the game for his new team, the Toronto Raptors.

Then there's pro tennis. The old guys keep getting older, and the young guys are making names for themselves. The women are as unpredictable as ever. 

This summer should be fun.

Comments

  1. Auburn, Kansas, Iowa, Virginia, West Virginia were a few of Gonzaga’s non-conference foes. They were also set to play Baylor who had to drop the game because of Covid. That’s a tougher non-conference schedule than any PAC-12 team.

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    1. Yes, my doubtlessly Jesuit-trained friend, but you miss my point. They would have lost a couple of games in the Pac-12. The Pac-12 was the best conference by far this year.

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    2. Zags are 18-5 in the last 10 years against the PAC-12. Easy to assume they would have lost a game had they played in PAC-12 this year but that overlooks then 2020-21 conference power rankings which ranked the PAC-12 #7 nationally and the WCC #6.
      PAC-12 was the best conference in the NCAA tournament this year but nationally? Experts disagree with that assessment.

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    3. WCC? Really? Stop, you're embarrassing yourself.

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  2. Bears devoured Bull Dogs with ease. Incredible athleticism and muscle. Their defense was the surprise as Gonzaga could never get any of their cuts to work.

    Nurk is Nurk. Never going to be a workhorse. Trent was going to be an overpay and Simons has more talent overall.

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