March Madness Update: Final Four
It is official: there are just two teams remaining in the quest for college basketball's greatest accolade.
While one #1 seed breezed past their opponent, the other faced a duel to the very final seconds of an overtime thriller that became an instant classic in NCAA history.
Basketball fans are now two days away from the culmination of a fantastic season, but with the face-off slated for Monday evening, this one is sure to go out with a bang.
#1 Baylor 78, #2 Houston 59
The Phi Slama Jama memorial were thwarted in their attempt to advance to the program's third National Championship game, falling desperately behind in the opening period and failing to cut into the deficit by any decisive figure.
Baylor stuck to their usual approach, nailing 11 threes on 45.8% shooting from beyond the arc, and recording 23 assists to just nine turnovers as a team. The team's high-flying start from the perimeter helped them to secure a 45-20 halftime lead, putting the Cougars out of sight and out of mind early.
There were concerns about Baylor's capabilities after they stumbled late in the regular season, but they have been nothing short of dominant since. Houston seemed completely overmatched and underprepared for their Saturday afternoon matchup, allowing five members of the Bears to reach double-digit scoring totals while only Marcus Sasser (20 points) and Quentin Grimes (13 points) managed the same for the Cougars.
#1 Gonzaga 93, #11 UCLA 90 OVERTIME
The Bruins may have lost, but they gave the Bulldogs all that they could possibly handle. One of the college basketball's most thrilling games of the past decade featured 15 ties, 19 lead changes, an extra period and a buzzer-beating shot from the center logo.
Johnny Juzang dropped 27 points in regulation (29 total), one-upping his mark of 28 against #1 Michigan in the Elite Eight, though it was Gonzaga's guard Jalen Suggs that had the last laugh, nailing a three at the end of overtime from near center-court to give his team the victory after a Juzang lay-in had tied the game.
Suggs (16 points, six assists) and Drew Timme (25 points) took turns making excellent defensive plays down the stretch for the Zags, including Timme taking a charge on Juzang with 1.1 seconds remaining in the second half to effectively send the game to OT. UCLA validated every critic that they had despite their low seed, giving the undefeated Bulldgos their toughest challenge of the campaign.
#1 Gonzaga vs #1 Baylor