The Gonzaga Bulldogs could cement themselves as one of the most dominant teams in college basketball history if they can pull off their undefeated season in Monday night’s national title. While Gonzaga is favored to win this game by 4.5 points, according to the latest odds on DraftKings Sportsbook, the slight point spread makes it not crazy for media types to go with the Baylor Bears to come out on top.
So how can Baylor come away with a win on Monday night? For one, they will likely need to try and slow this game down as much as possible. Gonzaga plays at an incredibly fast pace, as they rank No. 19 in college basketball in possessions per game. Meanwhile, Baylor ranks No. 183 in that category. If this can get to somewhat of a half-court game, that favors the Bears.
Additionally, while Gonzaga shoots at an incredibly high percentage from the floor with 55%, which leads the entire country, Baylor is the better three-point shooting team. The Bears connect on 41.2% of their shots from beyond the arc, which ranks No. 1 in all of college basketball. If Baylor shoots at that percentage or better, they will have a real shot at taking down the undefeated Zags.
Below are game predictions for several media members on major publications with a few leading the charge for Gonzaga to drop their first game of the season.
2021 National Championship Game media picks
Gary Parrish, CBS Sports: Gonzaga (Baylor cover +4.5)
Matt Norlander, CBS Sports: Gonzaga (Baylor cover +4.5)
Chip Patterson, CBS Sports: Gonzaga (Gonzaga cover -4.5)
Kyle Boone, CBS Sports: Gonzaga (Gonzaga cover -4.5)
David Cobb, CBS Sports: Baylor (Baylor cover +4.5)
Pat Forde, SI: Gonzaga 84-83
Jeremy Woo, SI: Baylor
Jason Jordan, SI: Gonzaga
Kevin Sweeney, SI: Gonzaga
Elizabeth Swinton, SI: Gonzaga
Michael Shapiro, SI: Gonzaga
Nick Selbe, SI: Baylor
Molly Geary, SI: Gonzaga
Scott Gleeson, USA Today: Baylor
Bill Bender, Sporting News: Gonzaga 85-81
Pete Fiutak, College Football News: Gonzaga 84-77
Rohit Ponnaiya, Covers.com: Baylor to cover +4.5
John Coon, Athlon Sports: Gonzaga 83-80