Baylor Comes From Behind to Claim NCAA Men’s Basketball Title
History was made in Indiana as Baylor University stages an upset. Everyone enjoys a good story where the underdog comes out on top on occasion. Such is the story of Baylor, as the college claims its first NCAA championship against Gonzaga as the favored team with the perfect season. The Baylor Bears won their first title in program history and 22 points from most-valuable player Jared Butler. As the final seconds ran off the clock, the scoreboard read an 86–70 victory for the Baylor Bears over the undefeated Gonzaga team.
Gonzaga’s loss spoiled its attempt to become the first undefeated men’s national championship team since Indiana in 1976. The Baylor upset was made even sweeter by a much-anticipated meeting of the two teams in December 2020 that was called off due to coronavirus-related complications in the Gonzaga team. Just four months later Baylor had a coronavirus of its own to contend with. In 2019, Gonzaga eliminated the Bears in the second round.
Athletes met struggles they hadn’t encountered before. The NY Times reports that players were held up in an Indianapolis hotel for three weeks and played to diminishing crowds. Culture and current times made it difficult for players to maintain good morale, much less foster the drive and momentum to come up with a win.
Spectators were blown away by the way Baylor played a near-perfect game. Baylor University is a private Baptist research university in Waco, Texas, and the Bears came ready to play basketball from the moment they stepped on the court.
MVP Jared Butler says to 247 Sports:
“Yeah, start of the game was tremendous. I know I didn’t, Adam didn’t, Mark didn’t, we didn’t look at the scoreboard. We were just going out there, giving it our all. We were just going to let the crumbles where they fall. I looked up at halftime, we were up 10. I knew at some point we were up big, because I was, like, we’re scoring; they aren’t scoring. Everybody was hitting shots; nobody was going to miss. Electrifying, especially in that type of moment, a big game. And everybody stepped up. Like, everybody was clicking on all cylinders. Like that’s what it takes to win. So it’s amazing.”
And Butler continues by crediting Jesus Christ as Savior and being with the Baylor team to claim the win.
“Man, I’m not trying to preach a prosperity gospel, but our Lord and Savior, I say it all the time: He gets us through everything. Jesus Christ, man, he’s the truth. And he was with us tonight. He was with us all season. He was with us wherever we go. And he just sustained us. He brought us together. He brought this team together. Transfers. People from overseas. It’s just tremendous how it just comes and it comes all full circle. And it’s just amazing. Man, you could do anything you put your mind to, for sure.”
Other Baylor men of the hour in Indianapolis are MaCio Teague had 19 points, Davion Mitchell had 15 points and five assists, and Adam Flagler had 13. The quartet scores 69 of the Bears 86 points in the winning game in Indianapolis.
Basketball fans everywhere witnessed history in the making and a great story for how the underdog with little chance of winning can come out as a champion. A come-from-behind team pulls out all the stops, leaving Indianapolis spectators wide-eyed and open-jawed with plenty to talk about. The Indianapolis upset shows that when an underdog shows up ready to play basketball anything can happen. Baylor Bears bring their best game to Indianapolis and go home with a historic title.
There’s an underdog in all of us
The underdog psychology is deeply rooted in our psychology. It involves the journey and all that you’ve endured to get from one place to another and how far you had to climb to find success. Baylor symbolizes the toil in all of us, and how hard work pays off.
When there’s an underdog, there’s always a top dog. The crowd favorite doesn’t always retain favor. There’s a sweet taste of victory when the winner is unexpected. Perhaps the winner worked harder or luck was on her side. Regardless of how victory happens, there’s a story most people love to hear when the underdog becomes the champion. The story is one of hope that success is achievable for everyone.
Baylor’s story to claim the title isn’t just for Baylor. It’s a reminder to all of us that underdogs can come out as winners too. When you work hard, you can achieve the success you dream of. Baylor’s success is a reminder for you to pursue your hopes and dreams. The triumph of the little guy over a giant embodies hope for all of us.
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