No. 1 Gonzaga survives vs No. 16 Southern
by Lindsay H. Jones, USA TODAY Sports
SALT LAKE CITY – It’s official: Gonzaga is a now a Goliath.
The No. 1-seeded Zags, once America’s favorite underdog, escaped Thursday’s second round with a 64-58 win against No. 16 Southern.
Gonzaga advances to play No. 9 Wichita State.
Southern will return home to Baton Rouge, La., with a heck of a story about the time they nearly knocked off a No. 1 seed.
There were plenty of moments in which it actually felt like a historic upset might happen.
Southern’s Brandon Moore came charging down the lane, not worried in the least that waiting under the basket was Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga’s 7-foot star center.
Moore put up his shot, and crashed hard into Olynyk, who landed on his back. The shot missed, but the whistle came. Blocking foul. Olynyk argued, but Moore went to the free throw line and sank two baskets to tie the game at 54 with 4:08 remaining.
When Olynyk was called for an offensive foul moments later, the non-Gonzaga portion of the crowd at EngergySolutions Arena exploded.
Southern later tied the game at 56 and was within one-point, at 59-58 before Gonzaga guard Kevin Pangos hit a three-pointer in front of his team’s bench to give the Bulldogs some breathing room in the final two minutes.