Until the title game finally tipped off at 9:20 p.m. ET.
Despite the hype surrounding one of the most anticipated men’s National Championship games in recent memory, most fans had a major problem with the contest’s late start time. Although the tip was intended to maximize viewers, many viewers found themselves frustrated with having to wait.
The late start isn’t anything new, as the 2019 national title game also didn’t get underway until after 9 p.m. ET. Considering the Bulldogs drew in the West Coast audience, the NCAA and CBS wanted to choose a tip that would appeal to the entire country.
Nevertheless, fans still lamented that they might lose some sleep on Monday night. Take a look at what some were saying on Twitter as the game got underway.
I am an old man and 9:20 pm is too late to start a game.
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) April 6, 2021
Why does the basketball start so late
— Steph Haberman (@StephLauren) April 6, 2021
Sporting events should never start after 6 p.m. Way too late!
— Andrew Joseph (@AndyJ0seph) April 6, 2021
Too late to start a big game. Goodnight! pic.twitter.com/bEw2IjS1yM
— Walter Piecyk (@WaltLightShed) April 6, 2021
— Claire Ballard (@theclaireshow) April 6, 2021
Who passed the law that the final has to start this late in the east?
— Mike Lupica (@MikeLupica) April 6, 2021
Once the game did tip-off, fans were quickly roped in and forgot about the post 9 p.m. start. Early on in the first half, viewers were treated to some high-quality college hoops, featuring the two best teams in the country this year.
The late start clearly didn’t affect Baylor. The Bears raced out to a double-digit lead and looked fully in command of the game throughout the first 15 minutes.
Tune-in to CBS to see if Gonzaga can lessen the deficit and make things interesting.