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NCAA Tournament Men’s National Championship Preview, Time, TV, Odds, Line, Open Thread

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Who gets a title: Perfection, or Power-5 Liberty?

NCAA Basketball: Final Four-UCLA at Gonzaga IndyStar-USA TODAY Sports

Men’s Basketball National Championship

[1] Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. [1] Baylor Bears

8:20pm | CBS | Gonzaga -4.5 | O/U 159.5
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN

RockyMtnBlue: I have two thoughts on this game:

1) Gonzaga cruised through the entire season and the first four rounds of the tournament with nary a challenge. If Baylor could have been the first tournament team to punch them in the face it might have meant something. But UCLA, a truckful of luck, and a trainful of momentum already did that. Baylor has more talent than the Bruins but they’re not going to catch the Zags overconfident.

2) Gonzaga beat UCLA. UCLA beat Michigan.
Michigan was God’s team this year.
Obviously nothing in this universe beats Gonzaga.

Both of these point toward the Zags. Sorry, Baylor.

MNW: Honestly, I don’t know why I’d been holding a grudge against Gonzaga—or any team, for that matter—going undefeated. Am I that bitter a person that I don’t want to see any team be perfect? (Probably.)

But when the previous team to do it was Bobby Knight’s 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers squad?

And when the school standing in their way is an institution as odious as the Power-5’s version of Liberty?

Fuck, man. That record is made to be broken. Go Zags.

BoilerBettor: You want some quality handicapping analysis? Fine. I have a futures bet on Gonzaga and I’ve hedged with Baylor moneyline so my profit is locked. Suck it losers. As to the game, this is the matchup the committee was drooling over from the get-go and the bastards got it. So short of Team Meteor, I’ll go with Zags just to take something else away from Reversible Jacket fans.

MaximumSam: Basketball nirvana is tonight, to see the best two teams of the season square off for a national championship. I wasn’t sold on Baylor coming into the tourney, but their defense, especially their guards, have made life just miserable for opposing teams (I’m looking at you, Badgers), and they have have shooters all over the court. They are really good.

But Gonzaga has been better. They have been a layup machine, even when people mistakenly thought UCLA was playing great defense. They can kill you in transition, and if you slow down the game, they will kill you in the half court. Their offense is near unstoppable, and their five star recruit guards are a good match for Baylor. That said, Baylor certainly has a chance. UCLA was able to match the Zags’ efficiency by making an enormous number of jump shots. If Baylor can do that, but make three pointers instead of long twos, they will be in great shape.

Protip - watch the rebounds of Baylor threes. They have been quite good at rebounding their own misses and generating a great shot. OTOH, Gonzaga wants to grab a rebound and get in transition, where they are lethal.

Poll

Here is where you pick the game.

This poll is closed

  • 78%
    Gonzaga
    (25 votes)
  • 21%
    the other one
    (7 votes)
32 votes total Vote Now