INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Baylor is on top of the college basketball world, winning its first national championship while denying perfection for Gonzaga.
All-American guard Jared Butler had 22 points and seven assists for the Bears in 86-70 victory Monday night. His backcourt mates did plenty as well.
MaCio Teague had 19 points and Davion Mitchell 15 for the Bears. Adam Flagler, a guard who will be back next season, added 13 points, and fifth-year senior Mark Vital had 11 rebounds. Baylor ended the season at 28-2.
Freshman Jalen Suggs had 22 points for Gonzaga, which finished 31-1.
Indiana is still the last undefeated national champion, back in 1976.
Suggs, who banked in a game-winning 3-pointer from just inside half court in overtime to beat UCLA in the national semifinal game, scored 15 of his points in the second half. Drew Timme and Corey Kispert each finished with 12 points for the Zags.
The Bears from the Big 12 raced out a 9-0 lead in the game’s first 2 1/2 minutes and never trailed. They led by 19 midway through the first half, the largest deficit Gonzaga had faced all season, and it was as many as 20 points after halftime even after the Zags got back within single digits briefly.
Butler is the first player in a national championship game with at least 20 points and seven assists since Carmelo Anthony for Syracuse in 2003.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs, known for their 3-point shooting is only 1 of 6 in the first half. Baylor has hit 7 of 12 from beyond the arch. BAYLOR 47, GONZAGA 37 at halftime.
Baylor shuts down Gonzaga 86-70 to win National Championship.
Coverage begins 6 p.m. on 8 News Now
No. 1 seed Baylor (27-2) vs. No. 1 seed Gonzaga (31-0)
NCAA Tournament National Championship, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis; Monday, 6:20 p.m. PDT
BOTTOM LINE: Baylor is set to take on Gonzaga for the National Championship of the NCAA Tournament. Gonzaga earned a 93-90 overtime win over UCLA in its most recent game, while Baylor won easily 78-59 against Houston in its last outing.
TEAM LEADERS: Gonzaga’s Drew Timme has averaged 19.2 points and 7.1 rebounds while Corey Kispert has put up 18.8 points and five rebounds. For the Bears, Jared Butler has averaged 16.6 points, 4.7 assists and two steals while Davion Mitchell has put up 14 points and 5.5 assists.
SPARKING THE OFFENSE: Mitchell has either made or assisted on 42 percent of all Baylor field goals over the last three games. The junior guard has accounted for 17 field goals and 19 assists in those games.
THREAT FROM DISTANCE: Gonzaga’s Kispert has attempted 200 3-pointers and connected on 44.5 percent of them, and is 17 of 38 over the last five games.
ASSIST-TO-FG RATIO: The Bulldogs have recently used assists to create baskets more often than the Bears. Gonzaga has an assist on 69 of 104 field goals (66.3 percent) over its past three games while Baylor has assists on 49 of 85 field goals (57.6 percent) during its past three games.
STINGY DEFENSE: Baylor has forced opponents into committing turnovers on 24.8 percent of all possessions this year, the eighth-highest rate among all Division I teams.