INDIANAPOLIS -- Nearly an hour after Baylor captured its first men's basketball national title through an 86-70 pummeling of Gonzaga on Monday at Lucas Oil Stadium, Bears coach Scott Drew sat on a dais with the championship net around his neck and a smile on his face.

"First and foremost, I want to thank God for blessing us with this opportunity tonight," Drew said after the game. "I know the guys have worked really hard. And I'm so happy they get a chance to celebrate now. At the same time, I feel for Coach [Mark] Few and his team because they're such class acts. And Coach Few is a Hall of Fame coach and an unbelievable guy. A better person than he is a coach. And you hate when friends aren't feeling good."

 

Jared Butler scored 22 points and MaCio Teague had 19 for the Bears (28-2), who were ranked second or third in the AP poll all year long. But never first. That was because of one team and maybe, just maybe, because of a three-week break that put a halt to a 17-0 start and sapped some of Baylor’s burgeoning momentum.

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Baylor outscored all six of its opponents in the tournament by an average of 15 points. It beat Houston by 19 in the semifinal. Less than 5 minutes into the final, the Bears were ahead of Gonzaga by double digits.

Gonzaga’s first loss in 32 games this season — 36 dating to 2019-20 — leaves Indiana’s 1975-76 team as the last to go undefeated.

ESPN also contributed to this article.

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