March sadness: Christian Braun loses wager to Julian Strawther

March Madness includes Cinderellas, heartbreaks and sometimes friendly wagers between teammates.

Denver Nuggets guard Christian Braun arrived to Monday’s game wearing a Gonzaga Bulldogs jersey, the presumed loser of a bet with teammate and Bulldogs alum Julian Strawther.

No. 4 seed Kansas lost to No. 5 seed Gonzaga 89-68 on Saturday in the round of 32 of the men’s tournament.

Braun wore Strawther’s No. 0 Gonzaga jersey to make good on the wager.

As much as Braun might have disliked wearing the pregame outfit, it did precede one of his best performances this season.

He had 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting in a 128-103 win against the Memphis Grizzlies — his most points in a game since he had 25 on Nov. 17, 2023. Strawther had 14 points, his most since Dec. 12, 2023.

Braun won a national championship with the Jayhawks in 2022, his junior season in college. Braun had 12 points and 12 rebounds in the title game against the North Carolina Tar Heels. The Nuggets drafted Braun with the No. 21 pick in the 2022 NBA draft.

Strawther also spent three seasons in college, all with the Bulldogs. He was part of the 2020-21 team that lost in the championship game to the Baylor Bears.

Strawther entered the 2023 NBA draft after averaging a career-high 15 points as a junior last season. Denver acquired Strawther through a trade with the Indiana Pacers, who drafted him at No. 29 in the first round.

Gonzaga is set to face the No. 1 seed Purdue Boilermakers on Friday.

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