INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — In their first Final Four appearance in the modern NCAA Tournament era, the Baylor Bears put together a complete performance, dominating Houston on both sides of the ball en route to a 78-59 win.
The Bears led 45-20 at halftime. The 25 point lead was the fourth-largest halftime lead in Final Four history.
At halftime, only three players had scored points for the Cougars. Marcus Sasser had 17 points, while two other Cougars combined for just three.
Houston shot just 27 percent from the field in the half. Baylor forced nine first-half turnovers.
The Bears ended the half on an 18-3 run.
After scoring fewer than 15 points in each of Baylor's last two games, Jared Butler scored 17 points in the first half alone.
The Bears shot 57 percent from the field and 50 percent from three in the first half.
In the second half, Houston improved its shooting, but they could not cut the lead to single digits.
Butler finished the game with 17 points. Davion Mitchell added 12 points and11 assists to earn a double-double.
With the win, Baylor advances to its first national championship game since 1948. That year, they lost to Kentucky 58-42.
The Bears will play the winner of the second semifinal game between Gonzaga and UCLA.