Elite Eight spread picks: Can Kansas keep it going?
Mar 26 2017 by Johnnie Parsons
For his efforts, Macura finished the night with 18 points. That sent Gonzaga into the half with a 49-39 lead. Williams-Goss also added 8 rebounds and 4 assists, as he knocked down 4 threes. Never mind that Gonzaga had reached the Dance in 19 consecutive seasons and was one of just three teams to reach the three most recent Sweet 16s. The Jayhawks, the Midwest's No. 1 seed, won the national title under Self in 2008 and went to the title game in 2012. He shifted to the Zags, sat out 2015-16 and scored a game-high 23 points against the Musketeers.
The Bulldogs are the first team from the West Coast Conference to make the Final Four since the University of San Francisco in 1957. And the second half they played better than we did. The 7-foot-1, 300-pound big man was limited by Xavier's collapsing zone defense but that same commitment to the block opened up the outside for one of the best 3-point shooting performances Gonzaga fans have seen all season. Second, making sure his team understood the clock situation so that they could run their play and still have enough time to get the ball back for a final shot after Arizona's last possession was time management that we don't see almost often enough at the college level.
Kaela Davis scored 28 points on five 3-pointers, A'ja Wilson added 24 and the SC defense smothered the Bobcats (29-7), who missed their first 10 shots and took more than seven minutes to score.
It's been a rough weekend so far for Gonzaga star guard Nigel Williams-Goss.
"We're all here for a reason, right", Perkins said in the corner of the locker room, sitting under the West Regional championship trophy. Then check out West Virginia vs. Gonzaga.
Gonzaga has had a great season, but I think Xavier has too much momentum right now.
The biggest highlight for the 11th-seeded Musketeers came when J.P. Macura banked in a shot from three-quarters court at the end of the first half that seemed to give Xavier a needed boost headed into halftime. On top of that, Gonzaga needs to clean up on the glass.
FINALLY, AN OVERTIME: The Gators' 84-83 win against Wisconsin on Friday night on Chris Chiozza's running 3-pointer marked the first overtime game of the tournament.
The biggest celebration for Xavier came on a shot that didn't end up counting.
Xavier has done all its work closer to the basket, with all seven shots coming inside the arc and five of them at the rim. Like Gonzaga in the Sweet 16, Xavier grinded out a hard fought win over Arizona to punch their ticket.
At the turn of the century, Gonzaga was an anonymous Washington school with a few fun tournament moments but no history of basketball excellence.
The Elite Eight is not new territory for Gonzaga nor its opponent on Saturday, Xavier.
Trevon Bluiett couldn't quite pull himself off the baseline at SAP Center, doubled over, jersey clenched in his teeth.
"As far as going to a Final Four, I desperately want it for this group of guys", Few said. OR faces Kansas in the Midwest Regional championship at Kansas City, Missouri.