After the first 2021 March Madness Final Four matchup between Baylor and Houston was decided, fans had to wait a little bit longer to see what the second matchup would be.
In the West Region finals, No. 1 Gonzaga steamrolled over No. 6 USC by a score of 85-66. For the third game in a row, Drew Timme led the Bulldogs in points (23), while also adding five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Meanwhile, No. 1 Michigan was taking on No. 11 UCLA in the East Region bracket. When it no longer seemed possible, UCLA managed to continue their Cinderella run by upsetting Michigan 51-49.
With the two teams set to meet on April 3 at 8:34 PM ET, BetOnline has undefeated Gonzaga as the heavy favorite in the Final Four. Their odds of winning outright sit at -1150. UCLA’s odds of advancing to the NCAA Division I men’s basketball championship game are +725.
Final Four Odds: Gonzaga (W1) vs. UCLA (E11)
Odds via BetOnline as of Wednesday, March 31
- Point Spread: Gonzaga -14.0 (-113) vs. UCLA +14.0 (-107)
- Moneyline: Gonzaga -1150, UCLA +725
- Over/Under: Over 145 (-110), Under 145 (-110)
Road to the Final Four
- Round of 64:98-55 vs. No. 16 Norfolk State
- Round of 32: 87-71 vs. No. 8 Oklahoma
- Sweet 16: 83-65 vs. No. 5 Creighton
- Elite Eight: 85-66 vs. No. 6 USC
- First Four: 86-80 vs. No. 11 Michigan State
- Round of 64: 73-62 vs. No. 6 BYU
- Round of 32: 67-47 vs. No. 14 Abilene Christian
- Sweet 16: 88-78 vs. No. 2 Alabama
- Elite Eight: 51-49 vs. No. 1 Michigan
Gonzaga Looking to Remain Undefeated
One of the biggest stories of this NCAAB season has been how Gonzaga has remained undefeated throughout the season. No one has come close lately to beating the Bulldogs as they’ve won their last 27 games in a row by double-digit point totals. They’ll look to do it again in the Final Four against a UCLA team that they’re expected to beat with a -14.0 point spread in their favor.
Gonzaga might just be too much for UCLA to handle. They do everything better than the Bruins. Gonzaga is scoring 91.6 points per game, which is the best in the nation. The team also moves the ball extremely well, averaging 18.6 assists each contest. When a team has three players capable of winning the Most Outstanding Player Award, it’s no surprise to see them as Final Four favorites. But that’s exactly what Drew Timme, Jalen Suggs and Corey Kispert do for Gonzaga: they’ve carried the team past all competition they’ve faced, regardless of seeding.
Can UCLA Pull off a Final Four Upset?
The 11th-seeded UCLA Bruins have made it to the Final Four after starting in the First Four. No team has done that since VCU did it in 2011, however, that’s where their journey ended. UCLA is going to want to be the first First Four team in history to make it to the championship finals.
Sophomore guard Johnny Juzang played a big role in the win over Michigan, scoring 28 points — over half of the team’s point total. He’ll need to have another game like that against Gonzaga if UCLA wants to advance.
However, UCLA’s defense was the story against Michigan. They held the Wolverines to .392/.273/.545 shooting splits and forced them to turn over the ball 14 times. Will UCLA hold Gonzaga to less than 50 points? Probably not, considering they’re averaging over 90. On the other hand, UCLA has only scored 90 or more points once this season and one of those times involved a triple-overtime game.
While it looks unlikely (+725) that UCLA will defeat Gonzaga, people have counted them out in most of the rounds so far and that got them to the Final Four.