Two of the elite programs in men’s college basketball will square off when the No. 6 Baylor Bears and No. 14 Gonzaga Bulldogs play in the inaugural “Peacock Classic” on Friday night. The game marks a rematch of the highly anticipated 2021 NCAA National Championship Game, and the Zags will surely be looking for revenge after Baylor ended their bid on an undefeated season.
The two programs have two of the best coaches in the country, with scott drew of Baylor and mark few of Gonzaga working on the sidelines. The Peacock Classic also marks a turning point in the development of name, image and likeness agreements at the university level. Read on to learn everything you need to know before the event.
How to watch the 2022 “Peacock Classic”
Only those with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan can stream the event. Sign up here or, if you have a free account, upgrade to Premium by going to your account settings.
A new world of opportunities NIL
For the first time, college athletes will be able to earn money by promoting a game they are playing.
Players eligible for both Baylor and Gonzaga may choose to participate through NBC Sports Athlete Direct, an NIL community that connects student-athletes, advertisers and fans, and promote game sponsors on their personal social media channels. .
All participating players will be paid the same fee for their participation.
2021 NCAA National Championship Game Rematch and Series History
Baylor’s 86-70 victory over Gonzaga in the 2021 championship game marked the Bears’ first NCAA men’s basketball title. The game had a lot riding on it since the Bulldogs entered with a 31-0 record, the first team to reach the championship game without losing since by Larry Bird Indiana state sycamores in 1979.
That matchup was a legitimate fight between the two giants that season: It was the first championship game to feature the top two overall seeds in the tournament since North Carolina beat Illinois in 2005. Baylor jumped on Gonzaga early, playing a aggressive style. that kept the Bulldogs from getting into their flow offense and opened up their own 3-point attack. Gonzaga was a -4.5 point favorite but never led the game.
Gonzaga leads the all-time series between the teams 5-1, having won all of his meetings with Baylor before the championship game. In the previous meeting before 2021, Gonzaga knocked Baylor out of the 2019 NCAA tournament in the second round by a score of 83-71.
How Baylor and Gonzaga match up
Both teams have been tested multiple times early in their seasons. Gonzaga (5-2) has defeated two currently ranked teams, No. 20 Michigan State and No. 19 Kentucky, but lost to No. 2 Texas and No. 5 Purdue. The Zags last played on Sunday, when they outscored Xavier 88-84 to clinch third place in the men’s Phil Knight Legacy tournament.
Baylor (5-2) has had it a little easier, but has still had to deal with talented teams; they lost to No. 3 Virginia and defeated No. 21 UCLA in back-to-back games earlier this month. They are coming off a stunning 96-70 loss to Marquette in Wisconsin on Tuesday night as part of the Big East-Big 12 battle.
Gonzaga will face a tough task trying to slow down Baylor’s offense, whose 88.1 points per game ranks ninth in the country.
The Bears are led by a duo of strong guards. L.J. Cryer leads the team with 17.9 points per game, and adam flagler He’s not far behind with 16.9 points per game and an average of 6.9 assists.
Baylor is also served by freshmen george keyonteanother talented shooting guard who could be picked in the 2023 NBA Draft lottery.
Naismith Player of the Year Award nominee Drew Timme he leads the way for the Zags, averaging 20.3 points and 7.7 rebounds. he is flanked by Julian Strawtheradding 14.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per night.
Timme and Strawther are two of the six Gonzaga players left from the 2021 finalist squad, so revenge will be top of mind. Baylor also has six holdovers from that championship matchup, including Cryer and Flagler.
With both teams qualified and looking to prove themselves early in the season, Friday is going to be a statement game, in more ways than one.