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Baylor faces Gonzaga in National Championship

Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs (1) shoots over UCLA guard David Singleton (34) to win the game...
Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs (1) shoots over UCLA guard David Singleton (34) to win the game during overtime in a men's Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament semifinal game, Saturday, April 3, 2021, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Gonzaga won 93-90. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)(Michael Conroy | AP)
Published: Apr. 5, 2021 at 2:42 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 5, 2021 at 2:45 PM EDT
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Baylor made a mockery of the first Final Four game, stifling Houston for a chance at the program’s first national title. Then Gonzaga made miracles happen, winning on one of the greatest shots in NCAA Tournament history.

The showdown between Baylor and Gonzaga that was called off in December because of the coronavirus pandemic is finally back on, with the biggest stakes of all: The two best teams all season will play for the national championship Monday night.

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.

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