NCAA Final Four March Madness: Live Updates


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April 3, 2021 at 5:25 p.m. ET

April 3, 2021 at 5:25 p.m. ETHouston shares a moment before his Final Four game against Baylor.Recognition…Kyle Terada / USA Today Sports, via Reuters

As in previous years, the men’s Final Four games will air on CBS. The official way to stream the tournament is through the NCAA’s March Madness Live app, which you must sign up for through a TV provider.

The Paramount + app will also carry the games.

April 3, 2021, 4:30 p.m. ET

April 3, 2021, 4:30 p.m. ETBaylor is the best 3-point shooting team in the country with 41 percent.Recognition…Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Baylor’s highlights

After his 81-72 win over Arkansas, Baylor (28-3) made it to his first Final Four since 1950 and the bears look as ready as ever. The top seed in the South Region, the Bears are a strong defensive team that will give Houston the most challenging matchup of the tournament. The bears also have great 3-point shooting – the best in the men’s game at 41 percent.

Baylor is led by three seasoned guards – Jared Butler, MaCio Teague, and Davion Mitchell – who collectively score 46.5 of the team’s 83 average points per game.

It is important for Baylor to use his shooting powers. Houston’s defense is tough to beat, but Baylor has the marksmen to do it. You just have to do the shots.

Baylor’s disadvantages

Baylor is struggling with sales averaging 11.7 per game. This negligence with the ball sometimes hurts the bears, as they did when they allowed Arkansas to make a 17-point comeback. Houston’s elite and swift defenses could take advantage of this if this happens again.

Houston’s highlights

Defense, Defense, Defense – Midwestern number 2 Houston (28-3) is great at this. Making their first appearance since 1984 in the Final Four, the Cougars look like a team ready and able to stop any crime on its path. Houston is capable of quick and forced turnovers, making it the second best defense in the men’s Division I and keeping the opponents at just 57.6 points per game.

Houston is led by Quentin Grimes, a Kansas transfer who has had great success with the Cougars. Averaging 18 points and 5.8 rebounds, Grimes is key to the team’s offensive strategy.

The Cougars are a great rebounding team too, which will be especially important against Baylor’s 3-point shooting to take away the bears’ second chance points.

Houston’s disadvantages

Houston needs to be able to either set the pace of the game or keep up with Baylor on offense. They are clearly a strong team when it comes to keeping their opponents from shooting, but Houston still has to make his own.

Grimes is important to the Cougars offensive, but he’s not everything and can’t be if Houston is expecting to beat Baylor.

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April 3, 2021, 3:45 p.m. ET

April 3, 2021, 3:45 p.m. ETGonzaga's Andrew Nembhard says he would like to play Baylor in the final of the NCAA tournament.  His team has to get to UCLA first.Recognition…Jamie Squire / Getty Images

Gonzaga and Baylor were ranked 1st and 2nd for much of this college basketball season, and the two schools may play for the NCAA championship Monday night.

But is Gonzaga point guard Andrew Nembhard already looking past angry UCLA for a showdown with the bears who will have to beat Houston to make it to the final?

“We should play them earlier in the season and we did a thorough investigation and the game was canceled in the morning of so we definitely had our eyes on them at the beginning of the season,” said Nembhard, referring to the game planned for the December 5 in Indianapolis, canceled due to positive coronavirus tests on the Gonzaga program.

“We’ve definitely seen their games and seen how great they are,” said Nembhard. “I would love to play them in the final and it would be a great matchup.”

Saturday was already a busy day for the Nembhard family when Ryan Nembhard, Andrew’s younger brother who works for Creighton, helped lead Montverde Academy in Florida to the fifth title of Geico High School Nationals for the past nine years.

Now Andrew hopes to lead Gonzaga (30: 0) undefeated to UCLA (22: 9) into the national title game against Baylor or Houston.

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April 3, 2021, 3:00 p.m. ET

April 3, 2021, 3:00 p.m. ETHouston defeated Oregon State in the round of 16.Recognition…Andy Lyons / Getty Images

DeJon Jarreau, Quentin Grimes, Marcus Sasser, and the rest of the Cougars weren’t born when Houston’s Phi Slama Jama teams, coached by Guy Lewis, reached three straight Final Fours from 1982 to 1984.

Under the leadership of Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, the Cougars lost in the 1983 final against the North Carolina state team coached by Jim Valvano and a year later against Patrick Ewing and Georgetown.

Houston – now with Jarreau, a New Orleans native who began his career at UMass; Grimes, who was moving from Kansas; and sniper Sasser, a native Texan like Grimes, has won 11 straight games since February 18.

“I’m excited to bring this excitement back to Houston and continue what the Phi Slama Jama did,” said Jarreau.

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April 3, 2021, 2:18 p.m. ET

April 3, 2021, 2:18 p.m. ETGonzaga's Drew Timme fought for the ball with Chevez Goodwin from Southern California in the round of 16.Recognition…Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images

Gonzaga (30-0) is on history’s doorstep, but the Bulldogs haven’t made it their obsession.

With two more wins, coach Mark Few’s club would become the first undefeated national championship in men’s basketball since Indiana in 1976. With wins on Saturday and Monday, Gonzaga would finish 32-0, the same mark the Hoosiers set 45 years ago.

“We have nothing to do with the undefeated,” only a few told reporters after his team dismantled Creighton (83-65) with the number 5 in the round of 16 on Sunday. “We have to go 3-0 if we want to win the championship and that has been our goal all along. All of these teams are under pressure the further you go. Pressure comes from all sorts of places, and the biggest pressure of all is you just don’t want it to end. “

The previous two teams that went so far undefeated – UNLV 1991 and Kentucky 2015 – both lost in the national semifinals.

Gonzaga doesn’t seem in danger of following suit. The Bulldogs have three players on the Naismith Trophy ballot for the Nation’s Best College Player: Corey Kispert, Drew Timme, and Jalen Suggs. Their fourth best player, Joel Ayayi, has the only triple-double in program history. The Bulldogs won their first four tournament games with a total of 96 points.

“I’ve loved every part of this trip and we’re not done yet,” Suggs said in a television interview after Gonzaga battered Southern California (85-66) in Tuesday’s round of 16.

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April 3, 2021, 2:17 p.m. ET

April 3, 2021, 2:17 p.m. ETBaylor could be the team best equipped to challenge Gonzaga in these Final Four.Recognition…Robert Deutsch / USA Today Sports, via Reuters

Trainer Scott Drew and The Bears (26-2) have been in the first Final Four of the program since 1950 and want to play their first championship game since 1948. You face Houston (28-3) as a 5-point favorite.

Baylor was number 2 in the nation for most of the season and is possibly best equipped to challenge Gonzaga should it make it to the finals as it has a group of talented and skilled perimeter players in Jared Butler, MaCio Teague, Davion Mitchell and Adam gives Flagler and Matthew Mayer.

The backcourt matchup will be crucial. Houston holds opponents against 28.3 percent who shoot from behind the 3-point bow, while Baylors 41.1 percent comes from Division I’s deep lead.

Since a break due to virus logs and a loss to Kansas in late February, the Bears have been 8-1 and appear to be playing at the same level as they were 18-0 at the start of the season.

“We felt we had to diagnose some things and correct some things in the future,” said Teague of the Kansas loss. “And we felt that we would keep getting better as the season progressed, and we didn’t want to peak in January. We want to peak at the point in time that we are currently peaking. We want to get even better this last week. “

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April 3, 2021, 2:16 p.m. ET

April 3, 2021, 2:16 p.m. ETTyger Campbell hugged Jaime Jaquez Jr. after UCLA upset Michigan to make it to the Final Four.Recognition…Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images

Coach Mick Cronin’s team is only the second team to advance from the top four to the Final Four after Virginia Commonwealth in 2011. The Bruins have won five games in a row in that tournament – including victories over No. 1 in Michigan and No. 2 in Alabama – after losing four games in a row prior to the tournament.

Nevertheless, the Bruins (22-9) will move into the national semi-finals as big underdogs. Many major betting providers list Gonzaga as a 14-point favorite and a strong betting action for the Bulldogs.

“You have to keep it tight and put some pressure on them to play,” said Arizona state coach Bobby Hurley, who as a player helped Duke in 1991 knocked out UNLV in the national semifinals before he won the championship. “Gonzaga was able to build great leads on teams that were insurmountable.”

An important matchup will be Gonzaga’s Drew Timme against UCLA center Cody Riley. The 6-foot-10 vote prevailed in the Elite Eight against Evan and Isaiah Mobley of Southern California on their way to 23 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. The 6-foot-9 Riley, a junior averaging 9.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, needs to find a way to make life miserable for Timme.

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