The Gonzaga Bulldogs play the South Dakota Jackrabbits in one of the NCAA Tournament basketball March Madness games on Thursday, start time at 2:00 PM ET, at Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City. "I mean, just scores the ball so easy.ball goes in, never seems to get rattled, has the ultimate green light, has great confidence, shooting out to 28 feet is not a problem nor is it a bad shot", Gonzaga head Coach Mark Few said. South Dakota State is a talented offensive squad, and the Gonzaga Bulldogs made their high level scorers look mortal.
The Zags, who took their first lead with 1:40 to play in the first half, advance to play the victor of Thursday afternoon's game between No. 8 seed Northwestern and No. 9 seed Vanderbilt on Saturday. So let's get truly bold here: the Bulldogs will not only play a Final Four game, they will win one.
Mike Daum averages better than 25 points per game for the Jackrabbits, but he alone can't beat the Zags. The 23-16 Tigers have won 19 straight games and have just defeated Yale to win the first ever Ivy League tournament. But Gonzaga proved a shaky No. 1 the last time it was the top seed in Salt Lake City, barely getting past Southern before losing in the second round to Wichita State. "We were just really confident".
Perkins drained a 3-pointer, and Williams had a monster dunk out of the locker-room break as Gonzaga used an 11-2 run to push its lead to 40-28 in the opening four minutes of the second half. And if you're No.1, there's not going to be a whole lot of people rooting for you, except the Gonzaga people. The Bulldogs (32-1) spent much of the year near the top of the polls, led by WCC player of the year Nigel Williams-Goss. The Tar Heels can adapt to nearly any system, both offensively and defensively and while they don't play position-less basketball that's becoming more trendy, rarely do matchup issues plague them. Mathews added five rebounds to his 16 points.
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We had to continue to believe and stay together and I thought the goal encapsulated that and I couldn't be prouder of them. I want to thank the fans and players again because they have been fantastic for me".
"When we come into halftime, we're really confident no matter what happens in the first half", Collins said.
"That was a confident, well-coached, tough team", Few said. This year he's been shooting 43% from beyond the three-point line. "We knew on the defensive end we were doing our jobs, and eventually, the shots were going to fall", Collins said.
Gonzaga will face the victor of Vanderbilt and tournament debutant Northwestern in Saturday's second round at Vivint Arena.