March Madness 2021: Dwyane Wade Believes Gonzaga Bulldogs Can Overcome Early Deficit Against Baylor Bears

Published 04/05/2021, 10:04 PM EDT
Apr 5, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Drew Timme (2) and Baylor Bears guard MaCio Teague (31) battle for the ball in the first half during the national championship game in the Final Four of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


The Gonzaga Bulldogs came in as the favorites, but they are in trouble right now. They have had a slow start to the 2021 March Madness Final and are struggling to get going.

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It is five minutes into the game, and they are already trailing by 12 points. But despite the deficit, three-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade still believes in the Zags. Comparing their situation to what his Miami Heat faced back in 2006 when they went on to the NBA Finals, Wade passed on the advice Coach Pat Riley gave to them back then.

.@DwyaneWade has advice for Gonzaga on #FinalFour Twitter Live presented by @Wendys pic.twitter.com/JyKy31bM7N

— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) April 6, 2021

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Wade said, “This was our mentality in Game 6 in 2006 when we went up to Dallas. Coach Pat Riley told us that they’re going to come out… they’re going to hit us early, then they’ll go on another run throughout the game, and then they’ll go on another big run. We gotta be able to withstand that run. Stay calm, stay in the moment, don’t worry about it, and stay within. Lean on our defense and lean on the team that got us here. Take those hits and make sure you’re standing when they’re done swinging… As long as you’re close enough, you’re the better team if you figure out a way to win.”

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Can the Gonzaga Bulldogs pull themselves out of this mess?

Playing as the favorites creates extra pressure, something that Gonzaga has withstood all season. Throughout the tournament, they have been confident and have put away opponents with ease. In their Final Four game, they were put to test by UCLA, but they eventually came out on top.

However, tonight they look rattled. The Bears have been pressurizing them from the tip-off. They have forced multiple turnovers, showed a lot of aggression on the glass, and have out-rebounded the Zags. Gonzaga looks lost as the Baylor players run rings around them.

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They need to relax and try to play their own basketball. The pressure is getting to them, but if they can calm down and find their game, they can overcome this deficit. The Zags have shown determination before and have picked up from slow starts. They need to do that soon, otherwise, they will find themselves playing catch-up all game.

Apr 5, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Corey Kispert (24) dribbles the ball past Baylor Bears guard Jared Butler (12) in the first half during the national championship game in the Final Four of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Bulldogs are the #1 team in the country for a reason. Coach Mark Few will have a long motivational talk for his boys at halftime, and he will hope they can bounce back quickly.

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Aaron Mathew

1469 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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