Baylor basketball Jared Butler Adam Flagler

Baylor guard Jared Butler (12) celebrates with guard Adam Flagler (10) during a timeout in the first half of Monday's national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. [MICHAEL CONROY/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS]

Jared Butler scored 20 points, Macio Teague added 19 and the Baylor men's basketball team won its first national championship Monday night, beating Gonzaga 86-70.

The highly-anticipated meeting of the two teams considered by many the two best in college basketball throughout the season ended with the Bears handing Gonzaga its only loss of the season, denying the Zags the opportunity of becoming the first undefeated men's college basketball team since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers.

Baylor (28-2) blitzed Gonzaga from the start and never looked back, taking a 9-0 lead and never trailing.

Gonzaga (31-1) shot 51%, continuing its trademark effective offense, but the Bears got more shots thanks to an 38-22 rebounding edge over the West Coast Conference champions. Baylor had 16 offensive rebounds.

Jalen Suggs, who put himself in college basketball history with a 40-foot buzzer-beater to beat UCLA in Saturday's semifinals, led Gonzaga with 22 points Monday. He did so despite sitting for a few minutes in the first half with foul trouble.

Drew Timme and Corey Kispert each added 12 points for the Zags, who finished as national runner-up for the second time in five seasons. They lost to North Carolina in the 2017 championship game.

Davion Mitchell added 15 points and Adam Flagler scored 13 for the Bears, who shot 44% overall and 43% from 3-point range.

The game was the capstone of a remarkable rebuilding project for coach Scott Drew, who took over the men's basketball program at Baylor after it was rocked by a scandal under previous coach Dave Bliss.

Baylor became the first Big 12 men's basketball team to win a national championship since Kansas beat Memphis in overtime in the 2008 final. The Bears became the first school from Texas to win a men's basketball national title since Texas Western - now known as UTEP - beat Kentucky in 1966.

Get Unlimited Access
$3 for 3 Months
Subscribe Now

After the initial selected subscription period your subscription rate will auto renew at $8.00 per month.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.