Gonzaga is the prime over-all seed in this NCAA Tournament.
For additional than 30 minutes in Thursday’s to start with-spherical activity against Ga Condition, the Bulldogs rarely appeared the part – having difficulties to pull absent from a No. 16 seed and briefly in risk of turning out to be just the 2nd general top seed to be removed in the initial round. Virginia shed in 2018 to Maryland Baltimore County.
Georgia State trailed just 35-33 at halftime and 64-58 with 10 minutes remaining, chipping absent at its Goliath opponent issue by level powering established guard perform and momentous times. People who glance at the closing score – a 93-72 win for the ‘Zags – is not going to observe how ugly this match was until eventually late when Gonzaga lastly decided to perform like the title contender it truly is expected to be.
Scenarios like this materialize all the time in March Madness, when a leading seed will take a when to finally strike one more gear and come out on prime vs. a gritty mid-significant. Thursday’s recreation might be part of the exact same narrative, but it also uncovered several defensive weaknesses for Gonzaga, anticipated to appear out of the West Area and get to the Remaining Four.
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One particular of GSU’s finest frontcourt players, Eliel Nsoseme, remaining the activity with a knee injuries in the to start with half. In opposition to a workforce with a midway decent frontcourt and elite guards, Gonzaga could be in problems.
If this crew plays lackluster for 3/4 of a game again, it may well not be advancing. This ‘Zags workforce is pushing to gain coach Mark Number of his very first national title, avenging past year’s runner-up finish to Baylor.
Had Gonzaga not managed the glass (52-40 rebounding margin) or the paint, Ga State’s guard play was trying to keep the Panthers (18-11) in the sport. It took Drew Timme scoring 32 factors and Chet Holmgren 19, although the pair combined for 30 of the team’s 54 rebounds, to make the difference.
It was not uncomplicated for the Bulldogs, who closed out a 34-17 operate in the second 50 percent. They now satisfy Memphis on Saturday with a spot for the Sweet 16 on the line. Their counter-punch came late. But at least it came.
Abide by faculty basketball reporter Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson
This short article at first appeared on United states of america Right now: Gonzaga shakes off No. 16 seed, barely seems like NCAA title contender