The most anticipated Saturday in the world of college sports is slowly approaching with the final 4 teams left from the starting field of 68. From a casual fans perspective this Final Four probably doesn’t move the needle much and I don’t blame them. The teams of Gonzaga, UCLA, Baylor and Houston have little national recognition besides UCLA and have a combined 11 National Championships, all of which belong to the Bruins. The Final Four matchups don’t look that great but if everything goes the way it should we could be looking at a great National Championship game between the preseason #1 & #2 teams of Gonzaga and Baylor. But before we look ahead to the National Championship let’s get into these Final Four matchups.
#1 Baylor Bears (-5) vs #2 Houston Cougars
Lucas Oil Stadium, April 3rd, 2021, 5:14 PM
This game looks like it’s going to be the better of the two matchups after seeing Gonzaga make light of every team they’ve faced so far. A battle for the state of Texas that’s going to feature a ton of defense and some great coaching by both sides. This is Baylor’s Scott Drew’s first Final Four appearance while this is Kelvin Sampson’s of Houston second appearance but his first with Houston. I have been betting against Houston since the second round where Rutgers collapsed in the final minutes because this team does nothing special. They play good defense and score pretty poorly. As for Baylor, they do everything at an elite level. Players like Jared Butler and Davion Mitchell are forces to be reckoned with on both sides of the ball. This Baylor team is far and away more talented and better coached than this Houston team. The only thing that gives me pause about this game is the line only being 5 points, I thought we’d see a line closer to 8 maybe even 9 so like I always say, maybe Vegas knows something we don’t. Nonetheless I think Baylor wins this one pretty handily and we get one half of our dream National Championship matchup.
#1 Gonzaga Bulldogs (-14) vs #11 UCLA Bruins
Lucas Oil Stadium, April 3rd, 2021, 8:34 PM
What a run it’s been for both of these teams the last few weeks. Gonzaga has been steamrolling through the competition with no one even coming within single digits of them while UCLA has made it all the way to the Final Four from the play-in game being the second team ever to make the Final Four from the play-in game. Unfortunately I think the Bruins’ run comes to an end in this game, their last two opponents, Alabama and Michigan, shot a combined 17-36 from the free throw line, an astounding 47% while winning both games by a narrow margin so I don’t think this luck is going to continue for UCLA. As for Gonzaga they have just been putting on a clinic in their last few games. Every game is must see when this team is a playing, every offensive possession they have a purpose and don’t take stupid shots like other teams. Suggs, Kispert and Timme all playing together is a thing of beauty every time. The Bulldogs had one of their worst shooting games all season on Tuesday vs a great defensive team in USC and still won by double digits, the game was never even close. In my opinion there is no stopping this team, their worst game is some teams best games. I think Gonzaga wins this game quite easily and heads to their second National Championship and looks to take home the trophy for the first time in school history.
By Andrew Kalb