3. April 2021, 3:00 p.m. ET.

3. April 2021, 3:00 p.m. ET.

Houston defeated Oregon State in the Round of 8. Credit…Andy Lyons/Getty Images

DeJohn Jarreau, Quentin Grimes, Marcus Sasser and the rest of the Cougars had not yet been born when the Guy Lewis-coached Houston teams of Phi Slam Jama reached the Final Fours three times in a row from 1982 to 1984.

Led by Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, the Cougars lost to a North Carolina State team led by Jim Valvano in the 1983 finals and to Patrick Ewing and Georgetown a year later.

Houston, with Jarreau, a New Orleans native who began his career at UMass, Grimes, a transfer from Kansas, and sharpshooter Sasser, who like Grimes is from Texas, has been a big part of the team’s success over the past 18 years. February has won eleven games in a row.

I look forward to bringing that excitement back to Houston and continuing what Phi Slama Jama has done, Jarro said.

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3. April 2021, 14:18 ET.

3. April 2021, 14:18 ET.

Gonzaga’s Drew Timme battles Southern California’s Chevez Goodwin for the ball in the eighth inning.

Gonzaga (30-0) is on the verge of making history, but the Bulldogs haven’t made it their mission.

With two more wins, coach Mark Few’s team became the first undefeated men’s basketball national champion since Indiana in 1976. With wins on Saturday and Monday, Gonzaga would finish 32-0, the same score as 45 years ago.

We didn’t dwell on the unbeaten streak, Few told reporters after his team’s Sunday no. 5 had beaten Creighton 83-65 in the round of 16. We have to be 3-0 up if we want to win the championship, and that has always been our goal. The pressure is on all these teams as you continue to move forward. The pressure comes from all sorts of places, and the biggest pressure is that you just don’t want it to end.

The previous two teams to go that far and remain undefeated – U.N.L.V. in 1991 and Kentucky in 2015 – both lost in the national semifinals.

Gonzaga doesn’t seem to be able to keep up. The Bulldogs have three players on the ballot for the Naismith Cup as the best college player in the country: Corey Kispert, Drew Timme and Jalen Suggs. Their fourth-best player, Joel Ayai, has the only triple-double in program history. The Bulldogs won their first four games of the tournament, scoring a total of 96 points.

I’ve enjoyed every part of this journey and we’re not done yet, Suggs said in a television interview after Gonzaga defeated Southern California 85-66 in the eighth round Tuesday.

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3. April 2021, 2:17 PM ET.

3. April 2021, 2:17 PM ET.

Baylor could be the team in this Final Four best positioned to challenge Gonzaga. Credit…Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports, via Reuters.

Coach Scott Drew and the Bears (26-2) are making their first Final Four since 1950 and are looking for their first championship game since 1948. They start as 5-point favorites against Houston (28-3).

Baylor has been in second place in the country for most of the season and may be best equipped to challenge Gonzaga if it makes the finals, as it has a talented and experienced group of perimeter players: Jared Butler, Macio Teague, Davion Mitchell, Adam Flagler and Matthew Meyer.

The backcourt match will be crucial. Houston limited opponents to 28.3 percent three-pointers, while Baylor led with 41.1 percent distance shooting.

After a hiatus due to playing time and a loss against Kansas in late February, the Bears are now 8-1 and appear to be playing at the same level they were at the beginning of the season (18-0).

We felt like we needed to diagnose and fix some things, Teague said of the loss at Kansas. And we felt like we would get better as the season went on, and we didn’t want to peak in January. We want to reach the top at a time when we are only at the top. We want to keep improving from last week.

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3. April 2021, 2:16 PM ET.

3. April 2021, 2:16 PM ET.

Tiger Campbell hugs Jaime Jaquez Jr. after U.C.L.A.’s victory over Michigan and a spot in the Final Four…Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Coach Mick Cronin’s team is only the second to reach the Final Four out of the top four, following Virginia Commonwealth in 2011. The Bruins have won five games in a row in the tournament – including victories at no. 1 Michigan and no. 2 Alabama – after losing four games in a row before the tournament.

Still, the Bruins (22-9) enter the national semifinals as the big underdog. Many major sites are betting on Gonzaga as a 14-point favorite and betting heavily on the Bulldogs.

They have to stand their ground and put pressure on them, said Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley, who as a player helped Duke beat U.N.L.V. in the semifinals in 1991 before winning the championship. Gonzaga was able to get big leads on teams that were insurmountable.

One of the crucial matchups will be Drew Timme Gonzaga against center Cody Riley. Timme defeated Southern California’s Evan and Isaiah Mobley in the 6-foot-10 Elite Eight with 23 points, five rebounds and four assists. The 6-foot-9 Riley junior, who averages 9.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, will have to find a way to make life difficult for Timme, who likes to switch from the post to open teammates on the perimeter.

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frequently asked questions

Will NCAA basketball be eliminated in 2021?

Leaving: 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, first and second round.

Who will win the Final Four in 2021?

Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs hit a desperate 3-pointer in overtime to give the Zags a 93-90 victory over UCLA in a memorable Final Four game.

Who beat UCLA to reach the Final Four?

Watch Jalen Suggs’ goal in the extension to beat UCLA in the Final Four. NCAA.com.

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