The sting of losing a perfect season and a national championship in the same night will linger for Gonzaga for some time. This probably won't be the Zags' last crack at a title, though.
Following Baylor's victory in the 2021 NCAA men's basketball championship, DraftKings Sportsbook released its initial odds for the 2022 season. The Bears are +1200 to repeat (bet $100 to win $1,200), with Gonzaga leading the field at +900.
That's somewhat surprising since Jalen Suggs is almost certainly going to declare for the 2021 NBA draft. Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman listed Suggs second behind Oklahoma State's Cade Cunningham on his newest big board.
Corey Kispert is a senior as well, but the key players are otherwise positioned to return. The Zags also have commitments from shooting guard Hunter Sallis and center Kaden Perry, who sit sixth and 53rd, respectively, on 247Sports' composite rankings for the 2021 class.
Baylor's hopes of a second straight title will rest somewhat on whether juniors Davion Mitchell and Jared Butler return. Wasserman had both stars among his top 25 players, and turning down the opportunity to potentially be a first-round pick will be tough.
Like Gonzaga, Baylor has a blue-chip recruit incoming with small forward Kendall Brown (No. 15 overall). Head coach Scott Drew has already shown an ability to win without attracting elite prep talent to Waco, Texas, too.
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Since seeding began in the NCAA Tournament in 1979, this year's Baylor squad is the 3rd team to win the National Championship without any McDonald's All-Americans joining 2002 Maryland and 2014 UConn.<br><br>Baylor trailed for 1 min & 3 secs in the Final Four (all in Houston game). pic.twitter.com/d4pWfXUJ10
Given how much luck factors into any team's quest for a title, another Baylor-Gonzaga matchup in the final is probably unlikely.
But both programs figure to be near the top of the polls for much of the 2021-22 season.
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