|2021 NCAA Champions|
|#1- South Regional Champions
Baylor University Bears (28-2)
|2021 Winningest Conference|
|The Pac 12 Conference
Monday, April 5, 2021
Issue # 14.5.3 "Offense and Offensive Rebounds"
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EL SEGUNDO/CYPRESS, CA (smt) - #1S-Baylor jumped out to a 9-0 and 29-10 lead en route to a 86-70 drubbing of previously unbeaten #1W-Gonzaga for their first national title. The Zags still did what they do in the first half, shooting 54.5%, but the Bears had 16 more shots thanks to 9 offensive rebounds and forcing 8 turnovers in taking a 10-point lead into the half. There was no 2nd half momentum as Baylor poured it on again and when the deficit got cut to 9, Baylor ran off 7 straight points. Baylor dominated in the tournament, only trailing once (by 2) in the 2nd half of all six games. The Bulldogs' hangover from their dramatic overtime win did them in, as the 19-point early deficit was too much to overcome. At one point, Baylor made 10 threes to Gonzaga's one. At one point when they were threatening, Gonzaga missed four of five free throws (including the front end of a 1-and-1, a loss of 5 crucial points).
To me, the MVP was Baylor's Mark Vital, who had 8 offensive rebounds (3 more the whole Zags team), 2 steals, 6 pts, and a great "bear" hug of his coach. How nice one of the mascots "Joy" gets etched into the championship logo. Gonzaga finishes 31-1 and their lowest point total of the season. More impressively, all the sacrifices of the players, coaches, and staff to live in the Indy bubble gave us a great tournament (except poor VCU) with all the highs and lows we missed last year and maybe, just maybe, the Pac 12 will be respected (UCLA #1?) once again.
Baylor's win, picked by 19, gave Mike M (MizzouTgr11 2) the 2021 pool title and his first win in 6 pools. Last pool ('19) he lost the title when Texas Tech lost in the final, but this year he won. Jeff2 H (Pac Attack) fell to 2nd but picked up his first win in 7 pools. Adam T (ATI3.0) was our 3rd person to win money for the first time (8 pools), netting the $40 bonus (beating out 48 other entries) by guessing 156 total points in the final and finishing higher (21st) than Greg J (BamaG) (67th) and Michael G (Spermicidal State (144th)), who both also guessed 156.
Ron E (Slamjam51 2), John S (Mr Wizard), and Carl S (The Gambler 1) moved up to 3rd, 4th, and 6th with the Bears' win. Mike W (Wuk#3) won the 3-way tiebreaker for 7th. All four earned their second win with Carl S winning in back-to-back pools. Scott T (The Fabone Marathon) lost the 4th place tiebreaker and finished 5th, earning his sixth win (but first since '03) with his overall winnings hitting $750 (4th most). Mike M and Ron E won on their 2nd entry while Mike W and Adam T won on their 3rd entry.
|Place||Amount||Winner||Nickname||Pts (Place)||Yrs in Pool (#Ent)||# Times Won (Total $)|
|1st||$640||Mike M (2)||MizzouTgr11 2||129 (1)||6 (12)||1st|
|2nd||$325||Jeff2 H (1)||Pac Attack||127 (2)||7 (10)||1st|
|3rd||$220||Ron E (2)||Slamjam51 2||123 (3)||13 (31)||2 ($440; 2nd '18)|
|4th||$165||John S (1)||Mr Wizard||121 (4)||13 (23)||2 ($315; 2nd '03)|
|5th||$120||Scott T (1)||The Fabone Marathon||121 (5)||26 (44)||6 ($750; 3rd '98, 2nd '99, 3rd '00, 1st '02, Bns '03)|
|6th||$ 80||Carl S (1)||The Gambler 1||120 (6)||6 (9)||2 ($410; 2nd '19)|
|7th||$ 60||Mike W (3)||Wuk#3||119 (7)||5 (15)||2 ($230; 4th '15)|
|Bonus||$ 40||Adam T (3)||ATI3.0||110 (21)||8 (16)||1st|
Tids & Bits - Cloak and Dagger finished tied for last (60 pts)... for the first time since '17, all winners were male... for 22nd straight pool, someone picked the correct champion ('97 Arizona, '98 Kentucky)... Raideroran was the lowest placement (96th) who picked Baylor... License to ILL (13th) had the most wins (42)... Wuk#3 and ATI3.0 were the only ones to get 3 Final Four teams, both finalists, and the champion... ThaiSpice (34th) was 56 pts off the total points (guessed 100)... 66 of the 165 entries hit 100+ points... the 33.7 average wins set a record low (previous 34.2 in '18) with a record 4,839 losses amongst the 165 entries... 8 money spots ties a high ('12, '15, '17)... in the proper 64: Pac 12 finished 13-5, Big 12 11-6, Big Ten 8-8, SEC 7-6, WCC 5-2, AAC 4-1, Big East 4-4, ACC 4-7... Semifinal attendance: 8,131; about 8,000 for the Final, most Bears fans... Jared Butler was the Final Four Most Outstanding Player and had 20 pts and 7 assists (1st player in final to do so since Carmelo Anthony in '03)... Baylor finished with 16 offensive rebounds and forced 14 turnovers and joined '66 Texas Western as the only Texas schools to win the title... Baylor was 10/23 on threes (including making their first 5) and 16/18 on free throws... Zags still shot 51% but just 5/17 on threes... Baylor is the 18th #1 seed to win the championship in our pool era (26 pools)... while Baylor went through #3S-Arkansas and #2MW-Houston, maybe the Pac 12 softened the Zags up as their last two games were against locals #6W-USC and #11E-UCLA... back-to-back 1st time NCAA champions (Virginia '19) and last Blue Blood to win was UNC in '17 and the last primary blue logo team to win since Louisville (red '03)... the last time a team led the whole final was in '14 (UConn)... Baylor's pair of 15+ wins in the Final Four was the 5th time it's happened ('18 Villanova in our pool era)... my daughter Banana Corn finished 99th in her first official pool... so it took legendary coach Roy Williams his first-ever loss in the 1st Round (29-1) to call it quits -- winning 903 games (400+ each at Kansas and UNC) over 33 seasons with 3 titles (all with UNC)... in other sports: Saw Uconn lose Friday (always good to see that) and Stanford squeak by Arizona in the Women's final today; night and day from UCLA-Zags as lots of mistakes in the final minute (turnovers, clock violations, bad shot selection (or no shot at all)) with a near buzzer beater... Also saw Angel's Shohei Ohtani smack a HR on first pitch and bizarrely give up 2 runs on a 2-out strikeout... MLS's 26th season starts April 16th...
There were a lot of bad batches of upsets, but Star Wars: The Bad Batch should be cool, going past Revenge of the Sith...