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Men’s Final Four Preview: Baylor-Houston, Gonzaga-UCLA

By all of the upsets and broken brackets, the NCAA tournament has near down to four: Baylor (26-2), Houston (28-3), UCLA (22-9), and Gonzaga (30-0). We’re easiest moments far from seeing who will have a shot at bringing home this twelve months’s national championship. 

This tournament retains making history 🤯#FinalFour #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/IIiUDUjbRv

— NCAA March Insanity (@marchmadness) March 31, 2021

 No.3 seed Baylor, equipped with a stacked roster fat of stable guards, will elevate on the scrappy, defensively stable No.6 seed Houston. Then, No.11 UCLA will peep to retain the ball rolling in opposition to Gonzaga No. 1 seed Gonzaga, who is undefeated and has dominated every game this season. On Friday, head coach Imprint Few received Naismith Coach of the twelve months for the 2d time in his profession. 

This twelve months’s Closing Four matchups will embody many historical firsts for every of those programs. Baylor will probably be making their first Closing Four look since 1950, and if a hit, will peep to web their program’s first national championship. Houston, correct worship Baylor, has had a long Closing Four drought since 1984 and is buying for their first title. Gonzaga might perchance be attempting for its first national championship though after its final crawl to the championship coming short in 2017. The UCLA Bruins are having a peep to change into the first crew above a No.8 seed to web a title.

No.1 Baylor will face No.2 Houston (5: 14 p.m. ET, CBS) and No.1 Gonzaga plays No.11 UCLA (8: 34 p.m. ET, CBS) in Indianapolis on Saturday.

To web you ready for the madness, we’ve taken a peep at how every crew has carried out in the tournament up to now: 

Baylor

Coming from the south, No.1 ranked Baylor is entering the Closing Four for the first time in 71 years. The Bears have played consistent basketball all the plot via the tournament. Elite guard play and crew defense were the important to success for the Bears this March. 

Upperclassman guards Jared Butler and MaCio Teague have led the Bears all season and have saved up the tempo going into the tournament. The guards were each expansive contributors in the possess over Arkansas in the Elite 8. Teague build up a stable 22 parts to switch with 5 rebounds. Butler was once 2d in scoring with 14 parts and 5 assists.

Guard Davion Mitchell has been the spark the Bears must lunge the total come and is averaging 13.5 parts, 4.8 assists and a pair of steals in the tournament. Mitchell also swept all of the Defensive Participant of the twelve months awards this twelve months.

With guard play being priceless in college basketball tournament play, Baylor has that as a bonus. They’ll must step up in opposition to No.2 ranked Houston coming from the Southern enviornment. 

Houston

The Houston Cougars were tested in some terminate matchups all the plot via the tournament. A terminate three-point possess from Rutgers in the 2d spherical might perchance have despatched them home early. Within the Elite 8, they beat Oregon Whisper by six parts, despite having a 17 point lead at halftime.

They’re led by guard Quentin Grimes—who is one in every of the Cougars’ predominant offensive contributors. Grimes, who is averaging 18.0 ppg in the tournament, stepped up mountainous for the Cougars in the Elite 8—he dropped 18 parts in opposition to a competitive Oregon Whisper. 

The Cougars are also equipped with guard Marcus Sasser and forward Justin Gorham. They each were expansive in the Elite 8, as Sasser dropped 20 parts and Gorham snagged 10 rebounds. 

It sounds as if the Cougars have realized their pace unhurried in the tournament, and tonight we’ll search how wisely they’ll retain their very cling in opposition to Baylor. 

UCLA

Time and time again, the NCAA tournament has confirmed that rankings are correct a bunch. Amid a four-game shedding gallop, the No.11 seed UCLA Bruins were counted out in plenty of brackets. 

As a replace, UCLA has powered via in opposition to one of the most hardest teams in the tournament: they polished off No.2 Alabama and No.1 Michigan to claim the East.

The Bruins have played crew basketball all tournament long. Led by guard Johnny Juzang—who has been on fire and is averaging 15.5 ppg this season. Juzang dropped 28 parts in a possess in opposition to Michigan in the Elite 8, scoring extra than 50% of the crew’s full parts (51).  

UCLA has a intention back sooner than them in opposition to No.1 ranked Gonzaga. Can they end Jalen Suggs and the Zags? We’ll correct must discover. 

Gonzaga

After plowing via the West enviornment, Gonzaga enters the Closing Four with an spectacular 30-0 file. No crew has near internal ten parts of beating the Zags up to now this tournament, and additionally they’re persevering with to point why they’re the #1 ranked crew in the nation. 

The Bulldogs will probably be making their 2d Closing Four look, and are attempting for their first-ever NCAA title. 

Gonzaga is equipped with extra than one offensive standouts that, together, have made the crew unstoppable. Drew Timme has been expansive for the crew all the plot via the tournament and is averaging 19 ppg.

He’s taking part in alongside prime NBA possibilities Jalen Suggs and Corey Kispert. Suggs is projected to be a prime possess in the NBA Draft and made his case known in the Elite 8 in opposition to USC. He had 18 parts 10 rebounds and 8 assists, correct two assists scared of a triple-double. 

The Bulldogs were a popular to web the championship all season and have the loaded expertise to web it carried out. They’re correct two wins far from turning into the first crew since 1976 (Indiana) to switch undefeated and possess the title. 

Will the Zags cling history? Greatest time will mumble, but till then, they’ll must web previous one in every of the most surprising teams in the tournament, UCLA. 

Let the madness commence up. 

For all the pieces college-basketball, be aware @slamuniversity on Instagram.

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