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Baylor, Gonzaga to play 2021 title rematch in South Dakota

Sportsnaut
April 5, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Baylor Bears guard Jared Butler (12) dribbles the basketball against Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Aaron Cook (4) in the second half during the national championship game in the Final Four of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor and Gonzaga, which played in the 2021 NCAA men’s national title game, will square off Dec. 2 at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D., the programs announced Tuesday.

Baylor won the 2021 national championship by beating No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga 86-70, the Bulldogs’ only loss that season after starting 31-0. They are the only two teams to achieve a No. 1 ranking in the AP poll in each of the past three seasons.

It is not the five-sided basketball venue’s first foray into hosting college games. Sanford has hosted 38 Division I men’s games since opening 2013, along with 16 Division I women’s games.

Gonzaga beat Iowa 99-88 at Sanford in 2020 in what was a matchup of top-three teams in the country at the time.

“We’re excited to play such a talented opponent in a great venue,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said in a news release. “We have tremendous respect for Coach (Scott) Drew and his program. A game like this showcases college basketball and we thank Lea Miller-Tooley and the Sanford Pentagon for helping put it together.”

“I’m really excited for this early-season matchup against one of the sport’s premier teams,” Drew said in a statement. “Baylor Basketball has so much respect for Coach Few and the entire Gonzaga program, and we share the same scheduling philosophy about testing ourselves early in the season.”

Gonzaga is 5-1 against Baylor all time, with the Bears’ only victory coming in their national championship meeting.

–Field Level Media