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SB Nation Reacts: NCAA MVPs & Pre-season #1 for ‘21-22

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Readers weigh in which players reigned supreme in the Men’s and Women’s Final Fours.

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NCAA Basketball: Final Four-Baylor vs Gonzaga Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NCAA. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged-in Virginia Tech Hokies fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts.

The Men’s and Women’s NCAA Tournament has come to an end, with the Baylor men and Stanford women standing alone as champions.

Their domination was pushed in no small part by each team’s star power. According to fans around the country, Stanford’s Haley Jones’ was picked by 51 percent of fans as the MVP. Arizona’s star guard Aari McDonald earned 27% while UConn freshman Paige Bueckers took 15 percent.

On the men’s side, it was a fellow champion picked as the best player in the Final Four. Baylor’s Jared Butler was tapped as the men’s Final Four MVP, receiving 52 percent of the vote. Butler topped UCLA’s Johnny Juzang who earned 20 percent and Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs with 14 percent.

Baylor’s run to the championship was overshadowed through much of the season by Gonzaga’s attempt at perfection. However, the Bears put together a dominant season by any standard. But that still isn’t enough, according to fans around the country, to rank them among the game’s elite. Part of that is likely due to the uneven and start-stop nature of the season, but it was still a great accomplishment by Baylor to win it all and be the first, and only, school to beat Gonzaga this year.

Turning the page to next season, fans expect to see much of the same at the top of every top-25 list. According to the survey, 33 percent of fans believe Gonzaga should be ranked number one to start next season. This time the Bulldogs beat out Baylor, who finished with 31 percent of the vote. The ACC fails to register in the conversation among voters even though many media outlets have the Duke Blue Devils bouncing back next season, going from out of the tournament to title contenders.

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