The 2021 Baylor Bears turned in two of the most dominant back-to-back performances by a team on the Final Four and national championship stage in men's NCAA tournament history.
Balanced scoring, intense team defense, tenacity on the glass — and it's only fitting their best player — in the final two games and, in reality, all season long — took home Final Four Most Outstanding Player honors.
The honor belonged to Jared Butler, who scored 22 points with seven assists, three rebounds and zero turnovers. The junior guard, who initially enrolled at Alabama before transferring to Baylor, made all six of his free throws and went 4-for-9 from beyond the arc.
Butler scored or assisted on 38 of Baylor's 86 points (44 percent) in Monday night's win over Gonzaga, per ESPN Stats & Info. According to the NCAA, he is the first player with at least 20 points and seven assists in a title game since Carmelo Anthony did it for the Syracuse Orange in 2003.
Baylor Bears guard Jared Butler (12) celebrates after beating the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the national championship game 2021 men's NCAA Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Photo: Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY Sports)
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Monday night's performance followed a 17-point game (which also led the Bears) against Houston in Saturday's semifinal on 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range.
Butler was a consensus All-America selection and earned his second straight all-Big 12 honors this season.
All Final Four team is Johnny Juzang, Davion Mitchell, Jalen Suggs, Drew Timme and Jared Butler. Butler is the MOP.
Joining Butler on the all-Final Four team were UCLA's Johnny Juzang, Jalen Suggs and Drew Timme of Gonzaga, and Baylor's Davion Mitchell.
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.
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