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Key plays: Baylor's 86-70 national championship win over Gonzaga

For the Bears, it's their first-ever national championship.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Baylor Bears are men's NCAA champions after pulling off an impressive win over previously-unbeaten Gonzaga.  

Baylor got off to a 9-0 lead to start the game and got that lead up to 19. Gonzaga fought back before halftime to cut the lead to 10. Baylor never let up in the second half, and won 86-70, for their first ever national title.

RELATED: Baylor routs Gonzaga, wins first men's basketball national championship

Below, you'll find our live blog of highlights, fan reacts and other moments of the game.

10:30 p.m. -- Baylor Bears are national champs!

10:15 p.m. -- Bears are feeling it

9:50 p.m. -- Baylor opens lead back up

After Gonzaga cut the Baylor lead down to 9, the Bears took it back to a 16-poing lead, thanks to three-point shooting, defense and this....

9:45 p.m. -- Jared Butler is on fire 

Butler is 4-of-7 from long range including this bomb.

9:30 p.m. How fans were feeling at halftime

9:15 p.m. - Gonzaga closes the gap at halftime

You knew Gonzaga wouldn't go away. After Baylor had a 19-point lead in the first half, the Zags closed it to 10 at halftime.

9 p.m. -- Baylor still holding onto lead

Flo Thamba with the rejection!

8:45 p.m. -- Gonzaga is facing their biggest deficit of the season.

Kris Radcliff is loving this game so far! 

8:30 p.m. -- What a start for the Baylor Bears!

Baylor went on a 9-0 run to start this one. Here's Mitchell with the long-range bomb.

7:30 p.m. -- Closing in on game time! 

7 p.m. -- Fans gathering for huge watch party at McLane Stadium!


A spot in the history books and a big ole ring...duh.  

But in addition to that, this is the second-time the Bears have played in the title game. The last time was in 1948, so you could say the crowd watching the game is a bit different from the last one. They lost to the University of Kentucky, 58-42, in New York City that year. 

If the Bears win, it will be the 11th National Title the school has won across all sports and the ultimate program turnaround for a school that was at an all-time low when Scott Drew took over. 


  • Monday's game is just the ninth time that two No.1 seeds have met in the National Championship, ('82, '93, '99, '05, '07, '08, '15, '17). 
  • -This game is scheduled four months to the day that the Bears and Bulldogs were supposed to play in a Dec. 5 regular season matchup. 
  • - The 1965-1966 Texas Western Miners basketball team is the only program in the state of Texas to win a national championship in basketball. They are now known as UTEP. 


The Bears have a slew of talented players and each one has played their role to a tee in the tournament. 

Defense will be key as the Bears face a Gonzaga offense that ranks first in offensive efficiency, according to KenPom. The Bears rank second. 

The key to stepping up on defense will be Davion Mitchell. He swept the national Defensive Player of the Year honors and will need his nickname “Off Night” to be true when it comes to guarding guys like Jalen Suggs and Drew Timme. 


Gonzaga and Baylor have played five times before. The Zags have won all five times. 

The last time the two teams met was in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament. Gonzaga won 83-71. Brandon Clarke had 36 points, eight rebounds and five blocks. 


Gonzaga  is a 4.5 point favorite in the national championship.


The game will tip-off at 8:20 p.m. CDT. 


Baylor University is hosting a watch party at McLane Stadium. The doors open at 7 p.m. Students will be allowed on the field with general admission allowed in the stands. It is free to attend. There will be an attendance limit.

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