*GONZAGA 93, UCLA 90 (FINAL IN OVERTIME): The still unbeaten number-one team was the one that escaped. UCLA outplayed Gonzaga, but Mick Cronin not calling time out at the end of regulation and his team ignoring Jalen Suggs until he crossed halfcourt on the final play mad dash was inexcusable mistakes … STATISTICALLY SPEAKING – UCLA’s offensive efficiency was sensational (57.6% from the field, including 47.1% from the field, with 21 assists and 10 turnovers). It was the first time this season UCLA lost with 10 turnovers or fewer. Also, four players scored 79 of the 90 points … LAS VEGAS CLOSING LINE – Gonzaga 14½ (147½) … THE BOTTOM LINE – Gonzaga resembled a team that had won 29 of 30 games by double digits with many timid moments down the stretch of its first close game … EARLY PREDICTION – After declaring for months that Gonzaga is college basketball’s best team, Baylor cuts down the nets on Monday night!
HALFTIME – GONZAGA 45, UCLA 44: UCLA outplayed the undefeated 14½ point favorites, dominating 50-50 ball situations, but Gonzaga finished the first 20 minutes on a 15-8 run to end the half … STATISTICALLY SPEAKING – The teams combined to make 32 of 54 field goals, including eight of 15 from behind the arc, and for just nine turnovers … THE BOTTOM LINE – UCLA must get more defensive stops because its offensive efficiency of the first half is likely to continue. But, if the game remains close, will Gonzaga feel the undefeated season heat and be able to finish a close game?
*BAYLOR 78, HOUSTON 59: simply put it was no contest because of a massive talent level differential … STATISTICALLY SPEAKING – Baylor guard Davion Mitchell was the best player at both ends with 12 points, 11 rebounds, and zero turnovers plus he was the primary defender against Houston’s leading scorer Quentin Grimes who was scoreless until the second half … LAS VEGAS LINE – Baylor 5 (135) … THE BOTTOM LINE – Baylor’s efficiency has returned to its pre-COVID pause level while Houston reached the Final Four only because its four wins were all against double-digit seeds.
HALFTIME – BAYLOR 45, HOUSTON 20: Baylor is out of its tournament shooting slump and taking care of the defensive glass = Houston has zero chance … STATISTICALLY SPEAKING – Baylor made 16 of 28 from the field, including eight of 15 from behind the arc … Houston made just 7 of 26 shots, attempted just two free throws and was outrebounded 20-11 … THE BOTTOM LINE – Sorry this isn’t more extensive analysis, but it’s a 25-point game.