Gonzaga opens as largest Final Four favorite in NCAA tournament history

The No. 11-seeded UCLA Bruins are the last darlings remaining in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and earned a place in the Final Four via Tuesday’s thrilling 51-49 win over the Michigan Wolverines that occurred largely because of Michigan’s offensive woes in the contest’s closing minutes:

UCLA’s reward is a showdown with the undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs, seen by many as a candidate to emerge as arguably the greatest college team of the modern era. Thus, it’s understandable Gonzaga opened on as a 13.5-point favorite against UCLA, the largest Final Four spread in men’s tournament history dating back to 1985 when the spread became widely available. 

There’s more. As of early Wednesday evening, the Bulldogs were 14-point favorites to topple the Bruins and earn a berth in the title game versus either the Houston Cougars or Baylor Bears. Baylor began Wednesday night as a five-point favorite to face Gonzaga in the championship contest, assuming’s predictions are accurate. 

Gonzaga trounced the USC Trojans 85-66 in its Elite Eight matchup that wasn’t much of a battle outside of a handful of interesting minutes and has won every tournament game, to date, by double-digits. The Bulldogs are two victories away from becoming the eighth men’s team to win the tournament and championship with a perfect record. 

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