Gonzaga got off to a tepid start in Monday’s NCAA Tournament Championship game against Baylor, falling behind by as much 19 points in the first half. With Jalen Suggs in foul trouble and the Bears forcing eight early turnovers, it looked like the Bulldogs perfect season might be in jeopardy.
But, Mark Few’s team was able to narrow the gap to just 10 points as the halftime buzzer sounded, trailing by a score of 47-37. Big man Drew Timme led Gonzaga in scoring through the first frame and got on a roll in the final few minutes to pull the Bulldogs back into contention.
A 10-point deficit might not sound like much, but given Baylor’s talent, Gonzaga has its back against the wall. In fact, if the Bulldogs were able to pull off the comeback, it would match the largest halftime overcome in championship game history.
That mark was set in 1998 when Kentucky stormed back from a 41-31 halftime deficit to beat Utah in the national title game, according to NCAA Director of Media Coordination/Statistics, David Worlock.
“The largest halftime deficit overcome in championship game history is 10 points, achieved by the Comeback Cats of Kentucky, which trailed Utah 41-31 at halftime of the 1998 title game,” Worlock tweeted at halftime on Monday.
The largest halftime deficit overcome in championship game history is 10 points, achieved by the Comeback Cats of Kentucky, which trailed Utah 41-31 at halftime of the 1998 title game.
— David Worlock (@DavidWorlock) April 6, 2021
The Bulldogs (31-0) entered as 4.5-point favorites, but Baylor quickly showed why it was one of the best teams in the country all year long. The team’s talented group of guards, led by Davion Mitchell and Jared Butler were sharp in the first half, especially on the defensive end. The Bears also snatched up nine offensive rebounds, which helped Baylor earn 16 more shot attempts than Gonzaga in the first half.
But the game’s not over just yet. 20 minutes are left until college basketball will crown its 2021 champion.
Tune-in to CBS to see if Gonzaga can erase the 10-point deficit and cut down the nets in Lucas Oil Stadium later tonight.