Baylor quickly made it clear that he would play for the national title on Monday night.
The Bears led in an impressive race 9-29 during 12:48 of the first half to make a solid first-half lead with a comfortable 78-59 victory over Houston in the semifinals of the quarter-finals on Saturday.
Houston won by five points over Baylor on 16-11, less than 13 minutes before halftime. After less than two minutes Baylor advanced by 10 and then expanded to 20 over the next ten minutes. Two baskets in the last minute of the first half gave Baylor a 45-20 lead in the first half and absorbed all the drama from the match.
If Houston wants to have a chance to outwit Baylor, he has to do his best. The Cougars are one of the best offensive countertops in the country and rebounding is one of Baylor’s (relative) weaknesses. But bouncing doesn’t achieve much when you can’t place points on the board – even if you are outgunting your opponent.
Houston hit 27% of the field in the first half and came up with nine.
Yes, it was that kind of night for cougars.
Baylor coach Scott Drew told CBS after the match: “I thought we came in a lot of concentration and the players went out and implemented the game plan.” “God bless us, we made some shots and knew Houston wouldn’t go far at all. They are very well trained and very disciplined, and the second half is really proud of our youth because we never let that go. The game is in danger.”
Baylor led by Jared Butler
Jared Butler was a big part of Baylor’s career in the first half. The 12th Player of the Year got 17 points in the first 20 minutes and was 4 out of 5 behind the 3-point streak.
Those 17 first-half points were more than Butler had scored in any of the first four NCAA tournament matches to date. Butler’s best goal match in the tournament was 16 points against Wisconsin. He got into the Final Four shooting with only 25% on triples thanks to a 2-of-17 shot effort against Villanova and Hartford.
With a butler at point – he shoots more than 40% from depths – Baylor is a worthy opponent of the Gonzaga.
The death of the bears was exceptional
Houston’s strengths are recoil and defense. Which is why it wasn’t crazy to think that Cougars could hang out with bears for a while or even win the game right away. Diffusion was property.
Baylor made sure the match wasn’t a contest thanks to her departure. The bears shot the ball around the field so quickly and accurately that players like Butler enjoyed a lot of open shots. No college defense in the country will be able to stop Baylor football action on Saturday. Baylor finished the match with 23 assists in 29 field goals.
Sasser shines, and fight the other Houston stars
Houston got a big match from Marcus Sasser but he got nothing else from Quentin Grimes and Dijon Jarrow.
While Jarrow Made the first highlight of the game When he jumped over Butler in his first possession, he finished with just six points. Meanwhile, Grimes went goalless in the first half. Some production from the former five-star recruiter and the Kansas move would have kept Houston with Baylor. Instead, the Cougars scored 0 out of 5 off the ground and looked hesitant for most of the inning.
Meanwhile, Sasser. Alone prevented the game from being an overdone early blast. He earned 17 out of 20 points in the first half for Houston thanks to his five tricks.
Baylor would get his first national title
Baylor has been in a national championship match once before. This came in 1948 when the Bears defeated Washington and Kansas to advance to the title match against Kentucky. But the Wildcats won that match, 58-42.
If the Bears play anything like they did on Saturday night, they won’t lose 16 points on Monday.
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