Getty Images

The national championship game matchup is set. It’s No. 1 seed Gonzaga vs. No. 1 seed Baylor. The preseason No. 1 vs. the preseason No. 2. The best 2-point shooting team in college hoops vs. the best 3-point shooting team. On Monday night, one will cut down the nets in Indianapolis and be crowned champions.

There were plenty of upsets and surprises in March Madness along the way, but both these clubs have been dominant all season. Rarely does a bracket go chalk, but when it comes to these two appearing in the final game, this has long been anticipated.

As we look ahead to one final NCAA Tournament game, let’s examine both these clubs through a microscope and get into the nitty gritty of this tournament’s fantastic finale.

Gonzaga Bulldogs

  • Record: 31-0
  • National title game appearances: 2017, 2021
  • National titles: Zero
  • NCAA Tournament path: First round — Def. No. 16 seed Norfolk State 98-55; Second round — Def. No. 8 seed Oklahoma 87-71; Sweet 16 — Def. No. 5 seed Creighton 83-65; Elite Eight — Def. No. 6 seed USC 85-66; Final Four — Def. No. 11 seed UCLA 93-90 (OT)
  • Coach: Mark Few has been Gonzaga’s coach since 1999. Under his leadership, they have made the NCAA Tournament each season and accrued a 36-22 record in the Big Dance during that span. They are making their second national championship game appearance in the last four full seasons.
  • Key players: When it comes to Gonzaga, this team is so ridiculously loaded that you could draw a name out of the hat from any of its starters to recognize here. However, we’ll give a co-nod to Drew Timme and Jalen Suggs. Timme is leading the team with 22 points per game during the tournament and coming off a 25-point explosion vs. UCLA. Suggs’ scoring has been a little more inconsistent but his impact has not. He nailed the buzzer-beater to win it vs. UCLA and had several highlights in the game to keep the Zags in the mix.
  • Key stat: Gonzaga ranks No. 1 in college basketball in 2-point shooting percentage, making 63.9% of its shots inside the arc, per KenPom.com. That mark, if it holds, will make Gonzaga the best 2-point shooting team in college basketball history, breaking the record set by Princeton when it shot 63.1% from 2-point range in 1977.
  • Scouting report: Gonzaga is so wildly efficient inside the arc yet it is still nearly impossible to defend. The Zags have so many ways to attack you. They can use human flamethrowers Corey Kispert or Joel Ayayi to bomb away from deep. They can rely on Suggs to attack and create. Or, they can feed Timme until he’s full. (And spoiler alert: the man is never full.)

Baylor Bears

  • Record: 27-2
  • National title game appearances: 1948, 2021
  • NCAA titles: Zero
  • NCAA Tournament Path: First round — Def. No. 16 seed Hartford; Second round — Def. No. 9 seed Wisconsin; Sweet 16 — Def. No. 5 seed Villanova; Elite Eight — Def. No. 3 seed Arkansas; Final Four — Def. No. 2 seed Houston 78-59
  • Coach: Scott Drew is the architect behind one of the best rebuilds in college basketball history. He took over the Baylor program in 2003 and built it into a juggernaut, during which he’s amassed a 371-215 overall record. In the tournament, the Bears are 16-8 all-time under his guidance with three Elite Eight appearances and now a first title game appearance.
  • Key players: While Davion Mitchell is the third-leading scorer for Baylor, he’s the two-way difference-maker who is using a stellar tournament showing to build his draft stock into a potential top-10 draft pick. Mitchell recorded 11 assists, 12 points and zero turnovers in Baylor’s Final Four win over Houston. That made him the first player since 1987 to reach double digits in assists while committing no turnovers in a Final Four game.
  • Key stat: Baylor leads the country this season in team 3-point shooting percentage at 41.2%. That’s the best team 3-point percentage among teams who reached the NCAA Tournament since Marquette in 2016-17.
  • Scouting report: Baylor has a big three of Jared Butler, Davion Mitchell and Macio Teague who are averaging a combined 40.8 points per game in the NCAA Tournament. This tells a huge part of the Baylor story — the team is heavily centered around its guards. But more specifically, this team is reliant upon its shooting. All five of the team’s leading scorers are hitting 39.6% or better from 3-point range.

The Kansas City Chiefs are 2019 NFC Champs - get your gear on at Fanatics