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Scott Drew, Baylor win first NCAA championship

NCAA Championship, Baylor, Davion Mitchell, Adam Flagler

The 2021 NCAA Championship is now in the books, as the Baylor Bears capture their first title in an 86-70 victory over the Gonzaga Bulldogs.

The defeat by Gonzaga gave the program its first loss of the season, failing to tie the 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers with 32 wins in a perfect season.

Baylor got off to an 11-1 early lead on Gonzaga in the first half. Their momentum continued as they put Gonzaga on the ropes with a 19-point advantage. Despite the Bulldogs cutting the first-half deficit to 10, Baylor continued to play exceptional basketball.

The Bears completed the game and sealed the NCAA Championship by shooting 44 percent from the field and forcing Gonzaga to 14 turnovers on the night.

Baylor had an exceptional season as being the top seed in the Big 12. Despite their Conference Tournament loss to Oklahoma State in the semifinal, the team never held their heads down heading into the NCAA Tournament. Baylor was able to fight through tough opponents in their path to the championship game. They defeated notable programs in Hartford, Wisconsin, Villanova, Arkansas and Houston en route to their first championship.

Monday night’s victory over Gonzaga was the icing on the cake to the program’s hard work and dedication throughout the season.

Baylor was lead by Jared Butler with 22 points and seven assists on the evening. Macio Teague followed up the performance with 19 points while Davion Mitchell scored 15 points as well. After 18 seasons of taking over as head coach, Scott Drew was able to deliver Baylor’s first championship by putting his players in the right positions.

It also marked Drew’s first title with the team after taking over 18 years ago. Interestingly, Drew said in his introductory press conference in 2003 his belief that he could help win the title with the team.