College basketball will crown a first-time national champion when Gonzaga meets fellow No. 1 seed Baylor this evening at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. That said, this isn’t the first time these two teams have been on the precipice of winning a title.
Gonzaga’s only other trip to the Final Four – and national championship, for that matter – came in 2017, when the Bulldogs knocked off South Carolina in the national semifinal before losing to North Carolina in the title game.
As a No. 1 seed, Gonzaga wore its home white uniform against the seventh-seeded Gamecocks. The Bulldogs then switched to their black alternate uniforms for the matchup with the Tar Heels, who donned their white home uniforms as the higher-rated No. 1 seed, as seen below.
Baylor made it the Final Four in 1948 and 1950, meanwhile, and reached the national championship in its first appearance. The Bears defeated Kansas State in the semifinals before falling to Kentucky in the championship game.
The tournament consisted of just eight teams and there were no seeds at the time. Baylor wore its home white uniforms in both the semifinal and national championship, though.
The Bears once again donned their home white uniforms in the opening game of the 1950 Final Four, a loss to Bradley, as well as in the consolation game loss to North Carolina State. With that, Saturday night’s win over Houston was the first time Baylor walked away victorious while wearing white in the Final Four.
Gonzaga is the No. 1 overall seed in this year’s tournament, which means the Bulldogs will be in white. The team opted for its standard home uniform in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament and the Elite Eight but also wore their 1999 fauxback uniforms in the Sweet 16 and in the thrilling overtime win over UCLA in the national semifinal, as shown in the header photo above. It’s likely that will be their choice once again.
The Bears, on the other hand, will don their anthracite alternate uniform rather than their green road, gold alternate or volt-accented gray alternate uniforms. That’s not exactly good news for Baylor, though, as the team wearing white has won 10 of the last 11 and 16 of the last 20 national championship games.
Photos courtesy of @FinalFour and @BaylorMBB on Twitter.