Baylor head coach Scott Drew guaranteed he would bring a national championship to the program in 2003. Nearly 18 years later, he was correct.
The Baylor Bears ran the gauntlet for the past month, and they emerged as the last team standing. On Monday, the Bears beat the undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs 86-70 to win their first national championship in program history.
Head coach Scott Drew coached up a great team this NCAA Tournament, and it was a long time coming. Back in 2003, Drew was hired by Baylor to navigate the program through a major scandal. At his introductory press conference, Drew said that he came to Waco, Texas to make the NCAA Tournament, but to win NCAA Tournament games and to win a national championship.
While he did miss out on his “few years” goal, Drew can call himself a champion nearly 18 years later.
Unreal clip from Scott Drew back in 2003 pic.twitter.com/xrowVBz2HZ
— Barstool Bench Mob (@stoolbenchmob) April 6, 2021
Drew brings Baylor a national championship nearly 18 years later
It took quite some time for Baylor to reach this point, but Drew reached his destination. Through his 18 seasons at the helm, the Bears held a 371-215 record and clinched nine berths to the NCAA Tournament. Prior to this run to the national championship, the furthest Baylor has gone in the tourney was the Sweet 16 in 2017.
This time around, Baylor ran through Hartford, Wisconsin, Villanova, Arkansas and Houston as the No. 1 seed in the South Region. Their biggest challenge came in the form of undefeated Gonzaga, and Drew’s squad did not fold under the pressure. They thrived in it.
Baylor took an early 23-8 lead over Gonzaga in the first seven minutes of the contest and had a lead as high as 20 points at one point. The Bears shot 43.5-percent from the three-point line while Gonzaga shot 29.4-percent from behind the arc, and out-rebounded the Bulldogs 38-22 in the win.
The amount of time it took Drew to reach his goal does not matter, because he achieved it. For the first time in program history, the Bears can call themselves national champions.
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