The Baylor Bears were like a machine during the regular season, and they have continued that play throughout the NCAA Tournament.
Baylor drilled Houston 78-59 on Saturday to win its Final Four game and advance to the championship game for the first time since 1948. Baylor took the lead at 11-8 four minutes into the game and never looked back. The Bears extended things to a 25-point margin at halftime, leading 45-20. They maintained a double-digit lead throughout the rest of the game and won by 19.
Baylor got going in the first half when its bench took over. Matthew Mayer made consecutive baskets as part of his 12 points off the bench. Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua kept things rolling and helped build up some distance against Houston in the first half. He finished with 11 points. Star player Jared Butler scored 17 to lead the Bears.
As a whole, Baylor shot 52.7 percent from the floor and an excellent 45.8 percent (11-for-24) on threes. Butler made four of his five threes, while Davion Mitchell made three of his six attempts from long range.
Marcus Sasser played well for Houston and scored 20 points on 7-for-14 shooting, including five 3-pointers. However, nearly every other Cougars player struggled with his shot, including Quentin Grimes, who went just 1-for-8 on threes.
Baylor is now 27-2 on the season and will face the UCLA-Gonzaga winner in the championship game. Houston closes its season at 28-4.