Baylor and Gonzaga are one game away from the dream National Championship matchup. The Bears have a much tougher out as they face Houston in game one of the Final Four.
Houston's top-ranked effective field goal percentage defense will take on the best three-point shooting team in the nation when they face Baylor. The game will be televised on CBS on Saturday, April 3rd at 5:14 PM Eastern.
Baylor Bears Betting Preview
The Bears have seemed to find another gear in the NCAA Tournament, as they struggled a bit coming off their second COVID-19 pause. Only their last game against Arkansas, an 81-72 win, has been within single digits. Even that game was never really in doubt.
Baylor's defense has played much better during the tournament allowing only the Razorbacks to score over 70 points. MaCio Teague had his best game of the tournament, putting up 22 points on 8 of 18 shooting.
Baylor is led by Jared Butler. Butler leads the team in scoring (16.5) and steals (2.0). He is shooting 40.4% from behind the arc and is second on the team in assists at 4.8 per contest.
MaCio Teague and Davion Mitchell are also averaging more than 14 points a game. Butler, Teague, and Mitchell are all elite defenders.
Baylor is ranked 2nd by Kenpom. The offense is 3rd in efficiency, and the defense ranks 28th.
Houston Cougars Betting Preview
Houston will be looking to return to the National Championship game since their last trip in 1984. The Cougars played in two straight title games in 1983 and 1984, coming up short both times. Houston fell to Georgetown in 1984 and NC State in 1983 in one of the most memorable finishes in college basketball history.
The Cougars' defense is suffocating. They rank 13th or better in opponents' three-point, two-point percentage as well as in blocks and steals. Houston's defense 8th is overall in efficiency.
Quentin Grimes leads the team in scoring (18.0) and is second in rebounding (5.8). Grimes is shooting 41.2% from behind the arc.
Kenpom has Houston ranked 3rd overall. The offense is also top ten in the nation in efficiency, coming in at seventh.
Baylor vs. Houston Betting Odds & Lines
Mybookie has Baylor as a 5-point favorite. The total is set at 135.
Free Betting Pick
Houston will get their first crack at a team with a single seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Cougars' highest-seeded victory was over Rutgers, a 10-seed in the second.
Baylor has taken a more traditional path with victories over Hartford, Wisconsin, Villanova, and Wisconsin on their first trip to the Final Four since 1950. The Bears' lack of size will not be a factor as they take on a Cougars team that lacks height as well.
This isn't to take anything away from this Houston team, as they are very good. But Butler and Gonzaga are on a different level than everyone else. Baylor covers the number and advances to set up the dream National Title game.
Baylor 71, Houston 63