Two Lone Star State teams set on returning to former glory will make up the first Final Four matchup of the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
The matchup between Houston (Midwest 2 seed) and Baylor (South 1 seed) would be interesting enough on its own if you focused solely on the Texas supremacy angle; luckily for March Madness fans, the players and coaches on both teams provide great storylines that only add to the intrigue of the matchup.
Consider Houston, a team that has not made the Final Four since the Phi Slama Jama days in the mid-1980s. The Cougars would love nothing more than to extend their NCAA Tournament stay in honor of those players who took the NCAA Tournament — and college basketball — by storm. Then there's coach Kelvin Sampson, whose road here was built brick by brick after he left college for six years. Quentin Grimes, a former one-and-done candidate whose early career at Kansas didn't play out as he wanted, but that regardless has found him among college basketball's elite.
Baylor, meanwhile, was once considered on the same tier as No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga and a potential undefeated candidate — before COVID-19 disrupted their season. The Bears have two losses this season, but are still considered to be on a collision course with the Bulldogs, if they can get past Houston first. A resurgent defense makes it all the more likely that collision happens. It would also be the team's first championship berth since 1948.
Here's hoping the team's play on Saturday matches the incredible storylines prevalent in this matchup. Until then, here's everything you need to watch Baylor vs. Houston in the first Final Four game, including time, date, location, updated betting odds and more:
What channel is Baylor vs. Houston on tonight?
CBS, which has exclusive broadcast rights for the 2021 Final Four, will air both Baylor-Houston and Gonzaga-UCLA on Saturday.
Baylor vs. Houston start time
- Date: Saturday, April 3
- Time: 5:14 p.m. ET | 2:14 p.m. PT
The Final Four game between Baylor and Houston is scheduled to tip off at 5:14 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 3.
Where is the Final Four in 2021?
- Location: Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis)
Lucas Oil Stadium will serve as the Final Four site for the third time since 2010. Because the COVID-19 pandemic forced the 2021 NCAA Tournament to be played entirely in the state of Indiana, the venue also was used as early as the first round to host games.
March Madness will move to New Orleans in 2022, Houston in 2023, Phoenix in 2024 and San Antonio in 2025 before returning to Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium in 2026. Below are the full dates for the Final Four in each of the next five seasons.
|2022||New Orleans||Mercedes-Benz Superdome||April 2, 4|
|2023||Houston||NRG Stadium||April 1, 3|
|2024||Glendale, Ariz.||State Farm Stadium||April 6, 8|
|2025||San Antonio||Alamodome||April 5, 7|
|2026||Indianapolis||Lucas Oil Stadium||April 4, 6|
Baylor vs. Houston odds to win Final Four matchup
Baylor opened as a five-point favorite over Houston, and the line has stayed consistent as the game approaches. The Bears have had a slightly more taxing road to the Final Four, beating three straight single-digit seeds to reach the national semifinal. The Cougars, meanwhile, were paired against the 15, 10, 11 and 12 seeds. Whether that means Baylor is more battle-tested or weary remains to be seen.
Below is spread, over/under and moneyline for Baylor-Houston as of noon ET on Wednesday, March 31:
- Spread: Baylor (-5)
- Over/under: 135
- Moneyline: Baylor -200, Houston +175
Baylor NCAA Tournament 2021 record
|Date||Round||Opponent (region seed)||Result|
|Friday, March 19||Round 1||Hartford (South 16 seed)||W, 79-55|
|Sunday, March 21||Round 2||Wisconsin (South 9 seed)||W, 76-63|
|Saturday, March 27||Sweet 16||Villanova (South 5 seed)||W, 62-51|
|Monday, March 29||Elite Eight||Arkansas (South 3 seed)||W, 81-72|
|Saturday, April 3||Final Four||Houston (Midwest 2 seed)||TBD|
Houston NCAA Tournament 2021 record
|Date||Round||Opponent (region seed)||Result|
|Friday, March 19||Round 1||Cleveland State (Midwest 15 seed)||W, 87-56|
|Sunday, March 21||Round 2||Rutgers (Midwest 10 seed)||W, 63-60|
|Saturday, March 27||Sweet 16||Syracuse (Midwest 11 seed)||W, 62-46|
|Monday, March 29||Elite Eight||Oregon State (Midwest 12 seed)||W, 67-61|
|Saturday, April 3||Final Four||Baylor (South 1 seed)||TBD|
Baylor vs. Houston news from Sporting News
- Return of Baylor's D vs. Villanova sends ominous warning to March Madness contenders
- Kelvin Sampson's road back to Final Four with Houston more daunting than most
- Quentin Grimes' revival at Houston is the best basketball story of the Sweet 16