Here we go...the game most of us hoopheads have been salivating for since it was canceled on December 5. The best two teams this season getting to duke it out for the championship. Will the Zags finally knock Indiana off the perch as last team to go undefeated? I have a feeling the Hoosiers run lives on. Don't get me wrong, I'm rooting for the Zags not because of the undefeated thing but because they're such a likeable team and I love the way they play. Problem is, UCLA exposed a big flaw with Gonzaga and that's their perimeter defense. If Baylor can get that pick-and-roll offense working again like they did against Houston, they'll run circles around the Zags in the halfcourt game. Gonzaga had a difficult time with Tyger Campbell and Johnny Juzang. Baylor's got 4 guards that can fill it up both on a drive and from a standstill. Gonzaga, by far, has the advantage in the paint as Timme should have his way with whoever Baylor decides to put on him. Timme just has to stay out of foul trouble. From a depth standpoint, Baylor has the advantage as Gonzaga only plays a couple of guys off the bench and only Watson is a real contributor. But what this comes down to for me is Baylor's defense. Whenever Houston dipped below the free throw line, Baylor swallowed them up. Gonzaga's offense is predicated on getting to the rim and working the ball around for 3's. They don't take many midrange shots. So if Baylor can choke off the inside like they did against Houston, Gonzaga may have a difficult time scoring from their preferred spots. That plus Baylor shooting their season average from 3 (41.8%) has me taking the points and thinking that the Bears cut down the nets tonight.
The mark of a really good team is not folding up when someone comes at you like Baylor has to Gonzaga. BYU did the same thing to the Zags in the WCC title game and the Zags slowly worked their way back into it and then hit them with a big run to take the game away. Baylor is certainly a lot higher class than BYU but if Gonzaga gets a couple of stops early and goes on a 4,6-0 run to start the half, this is gonna be as interesting as we hoped it would be.