By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
WHEN the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Michigan Wolverines face off, one team will leave the Bahamas with an undefeated record and Battle 4 Atlantis title while the other will suffer their first loss of the season.
The No.8 Bulldogs and the Wolverines are slated to meet today in the 2019 Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis championship game, 2pm at the Imperial Arena and broadcast live on ESPN.
Gonzaga and Michigan were both in the 2015 event when they finished third and fifth respectively.
Michigan looks to defeat its second ranked team in as many days while Gonzaga had one blowout and one overtime thriller en route to reaching the tournament championship.
Michigan advanced to the final with a dominant upset win over the No.6 North Carolina Tar Heels in the first semi-final.
Eli Brooks led four Michigan players in double figures and matched his career high with a game high 24 points, Jon Teske finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and four blocks while Isiah Livers scored 12.
Cole Anthony led the Tar Heels with 22 points while Garrison Brooks scored 13.
The final score didn’t indicate how lopsided much of the second half was as the Wolverines scored 19 unanswered points to pull away. At one point the Wolverines made five consecutive shots during their run.
Brooks buried a three, followed with a runner and Franz Wagner made another three to make the lead 60-36.
Michigan began the tournament with an 83-76 win over the Iowa State Cyclones.
The Bulldogs advanced to the final with a 73-72 win in overtime over the No.11 Oregon Ducks.
Drew Timme made the go-ahead free throw with 20 seconds left to play and hand Oregon their first loss of the season.
Filip Petrusev led the Bulldogs with a game high 22 points, Corey Kispert scored 17 and Joel Ayayi added 13.
Payton Pritchard led Oregon with 17 points and Chris Duarte finished with 16. Gonzaga led 66-61 with 1:13 left to play in regulation after a Krispert three. Pritchard answered with a three and Duarte would make a pair at the line to tie the game at 66 and force overtime.
The last two Battle 4 Atlantis champions went on to claim the NCAA Division I Tournament championship to conclude “March Madness.”
Villanova did so in 2017 and Virginia followed in 2018.