‘Might Not Have Had the Viewership’: Baylor Bears Coach Explains Why Cancelled Game Against Gonzaga Bulldogs in December Was for the Best

Published 04/29/2021, 6:00 PM EDT
Apr 5, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Baylor Bears head coach Scott Drew celebrates while cutting the net after defeating the Gonzaga Bulldogs to win 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 Baylor Bears defeated the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the final of the 2021 March Madness earlier this month. It took place exactly four months after their initial battle, which was supposed to be in December. But due to COVID-19 related problems, the teams called off the game.

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At that time, many fans were upset because of the cancelling. Two of the best teams in the country not playing is a huge miss for any college basketball fan. While at that time the coaches would have been upset too, looking back at it, Baylor coach Scott Drew believes it was for the best.

“We were supposed to play Gonzaga on December 5,” Drew said in a recent podcast. “Game gets cancelled, and we both made an agreement because of COVID, that if God chooses to play this game on April 5, we’re both good with that. But if we played on December 5, might not have had the viewership. Number one viewed game about 17 million (viewers). Most viewed since 2019 NBA Finals Game 6.”

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As they kept on winning games, the frustration of the cancelled game only increased. So finally when these two teams met in the final, fans got their long-awaited duel finally. That is why it had such historic viewership numbers.

Baylor Bears vs Gonzaga Bulldogs final lived up to the hype

On April 5, Baylor took on Gonzaga in the final, with both teams fighting for their first ever NCAA title. The Bulldogs finished as the runner-up just a few years back, so they didn’t want to repeat that. As for Baylor, it was their first ever final. Despite it being uncharted territory, the Bears came in with the perfect mentality into the game.

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Right from tip-off, the Bears’ energy caught the Bulldogs by surprise. They got an early lead and never gave it up. Gonzaga had no reply for their athleticism and physicality and looked defeated. The Bears were ruthless until the end and kept piling on the points to win 86-70.

Apr 5, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Baylor Bears head coach Scott Drew and the Baylor Bears celebrate after beating the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the national championship game during the Final Four of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Despite their inefficient shooting, Baylor won the game with their amazing defense and hustle. Gonzaga was lacking in that department and that cost them the title. Although it wasn’t the expected result, the final lived up to all the hype it promised.

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Aaron Mathew

1532 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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