INDIANAPOLIS – What does it look like when perfection is ruined? Gonzaga star Corey Kispert seems to have fired a three-pointer that his team desperately needed, seeing Baylor’s custodian Jared Butler’s quick response lightning his sight, and then tried to dodge by placing the ball to drip and three feet off the ground. This is against the rules.
All-American center Drew Timme seems to have forced a sheltered 14-foot jump as his teammates ignored the shot clock and left it unnecessarily, just launching a shot that had little chance.
Coach Mark Few seems to have stepped out of the Bears defense to man and tried 2-3 zones, then 1-3-1, and Baylor found flaws in any scheme tried by Zags. .
Baylor coach Scott Drew seems to be pointing to his bench to summon deep reserves, walks, allowing them a solemn last-minute so they can tell their children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews that they have finished the game for the winning party. NCAA Championship Game.
And it seems that Gonzaga’s same freshman Jalen Suggs is leaving the floor with tears, just two days after he stood at the finish line as a Final Four speaker.
If it doesn’t end successfully, it’s unlikely to end nicely.
Gonzaga’s quest for the perfect championship season didn’t end on Monday night at Lucas Oil Stadium. After 31 victories in a row, fans of the “1” program came. The chance to become the first undefeated NCAA tournament winner since 1976. It quickly disappeared against the Baylor wave, which few called a total of seven times “aggressive” – or some derivation of the word – in a 15-minute discussion with journalists.
This was Gonzaga’s second show since 2017. In the NCAA Championship match and the second time she withdrew from defeat, but entered without defeats for the first time.
“Obviously, a feeling these guys never had to deal with and deal with,” few told Sporting News. “But I think that’s probably what the nature of tonight did – I mean, it’s not easy, but as a coach , you just try to give them as much perspective as possible. And as is usually the case with everything, time will give them the best perspective.
“But they were just an amazing, incredible group. I just told them they were so easy to train, so easy to travel and so easy to deal with all these COVID things we’ve been facing all year. I was just amazed at how they handled everything.”
The Zags did not lose as they play in the West Coast Conference and face less competition than the Bears until January and February. They didn’t lose as they were late until Saturday night when they were wearing themselves, and their overtime semi-final against UCLA ended with a 37-meter kick from the star’s freshman Suggs. They didn’t lose because they had a heavier burden as the team followed the undefeated season.
“I never felt like we were playing with that weight all year,” few said. “I’ve always felt like we’re an aggressor and we always are – I call it attack mode. And we just got on the team tonight, that was, they were an aggressor, clearly. So I think it definitely put us on his heels again. ends.
“And, look, I’ve been watching them all year and I’ve been watching last year, and I knew they would be a handful. Just those guards are so fast and they can all get into their shot. Obviously they’re sportier than we’re around the rim. But I thought we could also find some advantages, and we just weren’t quite able to do it. “
They lost because Baylor is great: big, powerful, deep and incredibly skilled. The Bears football field duo Davion Mitchell, Jared Butler and MaCio Teague together scored 7 out of 16 out of 3 points and reserve Adam Flagler out of 3 out of 4.
They lost because the Zags weren’t great tonight, quite the opposite of how many times before.
2017 The defeat hit North Carolina in the last minute before Tar Heels hijacked the game. It was closer to the first minute when this was decided. The thieves were early beaten by Baylor dynamite guards and rude big men. They were beaten inside and out, at the back of the attack and on D. They were beaten on the boards (38-22) and on the perimeter (14 turns, too many of them due to driving the ball near several defenders). .
Baylor informed Zags early that prioritizing a team of four guards would be problematic. The Bears grabbed five of the first eight rebounds that fell off the attacking board. Halfway they had nine rebounds, 47.3 percent. Percentage, and it improved to 48.5 percent. The best bounced college basketball team in North Carolina to play this season averaged 40.9.
Perhaps an even bigger issue was Gonzaga’s decision to change all five positions, often leaving Timme’s equivalent guard, often Butler, Mitchell, or Teague. These three accounted for 31 of 47 Baylor’s first-half points.
Whatever defense they played, no matter how ineffective it was, the Zags had no intention of winning without hitting multi-point shots. They missed six of their first seven and finished 5th out of 17. Visper’s American Kispert again showed his ability to play over the rim at both ends, but he continued the easy (but terribly timely) shooting by hitting the shot. just 2 out of 7 from the depths, and his three-game Lucas Oil stadium totaled 7 out of 25. That’s 28 percent. He got into Elite Eight by shooting .461 from the depths.
“Especially in a place like this, a more aggressive team gets more calls. A more aggressive team makes more 3,” Kispert said. “The more aggressive team gets more bounced balls. And they hit us in the mouth straight into the match. And it took a long time for us to recover and even start playing them again. But then it was too late.”
It didn’t end the last time the undefeated team was so close to winning the championship when Larry Bird and Indiana got into the title game and found their team physically overtaken in the front.
“It’s really hard to end the fairytale season,” few said. “But listen, Baylor just beat us. They beat us tonight in every aspect of the game and deserve all the credit. And obviously we’re all disappointed here, but, you know, like I told guys like you do this so far, and you’re going to “The last, last 40 minutes of the season, 31-0, are nothing that you should ever feel bad about. And they will look at this season when time goes by as something wonderful and incredible.”
“Žagai” entered this weekend as if approaching the intersection. We are not very much those who are around Indy. We prefer left turns and roundabouts, but it was inevitable to approach this type and / or the team arrived at the Final Four with a great record. There were two directions, and choosing one was mandatory.
There were seven teams on one side that ended the entire college basketball season without losing and with NCAA championships. Some of us can list them all without looking: San Francisco, 1957 North Carolina, 1964 UCLA, 1967 UCLA, 1972 UCLA, 1973 UCLA and 1976 Indiana. The NCAA tournament was first played in 1939, and only that elite group was able to cover the entire journey to perfection.
On the opposite side were the teams, an inaccurate collection that came so close to the finish line without a loss, but couldn’t. There were those who delved into the season before stumbling at least once and then approached the title without grabbing it: UMass 1996, Illinois 2005, Memphis 2008. There were also those who made it to the Final Four before seeing their mark damaged: UNLV 1991 and Kentucky 2015, most prominently. It was even in 1979. Bird Sycamores, who dropped out of the state of Michigan and Magic Johnson in the national championship game.
Every team in any group is legendary. So it wasn’t about whether Gonzaga would be able to take advantage of the greatness. This has already been achieved. It was about finishing the job. That did not happen.
“You kind of forget. You really forgot what it means to lose,” Kispert told Sporting News. “And every time it happens, it doesn’t feel good. And luckily, I didn’t have very many of them during my career, whether it’s in the regular season or the tournament.
“But I mean, when you come across a team that just shoots all the cylinders for 40 minutes, it’s really hard to compete with them. So, yeah, you kind of forget and don’t feel good. I ‘I’ll remember that for a long time.’