Gonzaga finally met its match.
Gonzaga was attempting to become the first undefeated national champion since Indiana in 1976, but Baylor had other ideas.
Baylor dominated Gonzaga for all 40 minutes of Monday night’s title game in Indianapolis en route to a commanding — and surprising — 86-70 victory. It wasn’t necessarily surprising that Baylor won. But it was surprising that it came in such dominating fashion.
Gonzaga was a perfect 31-0 entering Monday night’s game, but was only a 4.5-point favorite at BetMGM in this game. It marked just the sixth time all season that Gonzaga was favored by fewer than 10 points. One of those was against USC in the Elite Eight, and Gonzaga ended up winning by 19 points as a 9.5-point favorite.
This one was way different.
On the heels of Jalen Suggs’ overtime buzzer beater to beat UCLA in the semifinals, Gonzaga was overwhelmed by the physicality of Baylor from the start. The Bears had two offensive rebounds on the opening possession. It was a sign of things to come as Baylor outrebounded Gonzaga 38-22 and finished with 16 offensive rebounds.
Some seemed to sense the potential of this sort of outcome better than most. Before tip-off, BetMGM reported two monstrous bets on Baylor. One was a $330,000 wager on Baylor +4.5 that yielded a return of $300,000. The other was $300,000 on the Baylor moneyline at +165. That bet won $495,000.
A third big bet also hit. This one was on the total. One bettor put down $330,000 on under 159.5. It came all the way down to the final minute. A three-pointer with 46 seconds to go ended up being the final points scored of the game. A missed three-point attempt and a turnover on a fast break would follow. Those two plays could have pushed the outcome past 159.5.
And despite those bets cashing for BetMGM customers, a Baylor victory was still the preferred outcome for the sportsbook. MGM had a ton of liability on Gonzaga futures bets, including a $100,000 bet on Gonzaga to win the national title at +150. Of all the national title futures bets MGM received, 37.3% of the money was on Gonzaga.
More from Yahoo Sports: