Charles Barkley Predicts Gonzaga Bulldogs to Face Baylor Bears in March Madness Final

Published 03/25/2021, 2:37 PM EDT
Mar 20, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Corey Kispert (24) embraces guard Jalen Suggs (1) during the second half against the Norfolk State Spartans in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports


The 2021 March Madness tournament is not going the way anyone expected it would go. Defending champions eliminated, top teams eliminated, and multiple double-digit seeds in the Sweet Sixteen. No one saw this coming. Despite all these surprising results, the two favorites from earlier in the season, Gonzaga Bulldogs and Baylor Bears are still alive.

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They were both unbeaten for the longest time until Baylor had a loss against Kansas. The Zags are still undefeated while the Bears have bounced back well since then.

Because of their success over the season, Hall of Famer Charles Barkley said that it would be surprising to not see these two teams in the Final.

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He said, “In March Madness, one game, the best team does not always win. It’s going to be tough to beat the Zags. They are terrific. After looking at take the last couple of months, I thought the Zags and Baylor were the two best teams. I have nothing to change my mind. Michigan is terrific, Alabama is terrific. But I’ll be totally shocked if it wasn’t the Zags and Baylor in the final.”

Will Charles Barkley’s March Madness prediction come true or will Gonzaga Bulldogs and Baylor Bears fall early?

There have been 16 upsets in the 2021 edition of the NCAA tournament already. Most brackets get busted once the Sweet Sixteen starts, but this year, it started way before. Right from the first round, there have been some unexpected results.

Virginia, Texas, and Ohio State all fell in the first round. They were predicted to have deep runs but got the boot in the first game itself. The second round was also cruel to some top teams. Illinois, Iowa, and West Virginia suffered upsets in the second round.

Mar 21, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Baylor Bears guard MaCio Teague (31) and forward Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua (23) and guard Mark Vital (11) celebrate a play against the Wisconsin Badgers during the first half in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

So all these upsets will keep the remaining top teams on their toes. Gonzaga and Baylor will also tread carefully, as they aim to reach the final. Illinois’ elimination makes the path easier for Baylor, but Gonzaga still needs to go through Michigan to reach the final. That will be a huge game for both sides if they are able to reach the Final Four stage.

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Gonzaga and Baylor still have the highest odds to win the tournament. So Barkley’s prediction is likely to come true. But the tournament has had enough upsets for fans to assume it will happen.

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Mar 22, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Anton Watson (22) is held back by teammates as reacts to a flagrant foul committed by Oklahoma Sooners guard Elijah Harkless (24) during the second half in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Gonzaga Bulldogs won 87-71. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

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Aaron Mathew

1542 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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