Gonzaga opens NCAA tourney with 20-pt win

Posted March 17, 2017

Gonzaga faces No. 16 seed South Dakota, which won the Summit League Tournament to earn the bid. "Especially that first run to the Elite Eight".

The Jackrabbits of the Summit League gnawed away at Gonzaga for the better part of 35 minutes before the Zags started looking like the No. 1 seed they are and pulled away for a 66-46 victory in the West region.

This is how Robinson described Mount St. Mary's style of play: "We just cause a lot of chaos on the court", he said. "That's why you roll into this tournament, you've got to be good on Thursday morning, Thursday afternoon". As great of a player as he is, he's unbelievable in the community.

In Orlando, Devin Robinson tied his career-high with 24 points, Kasey Hill added 14 and No. 4 seed Florida used a second-half surge to down 13th-seeded East Tennessee State. Those early games can catch you off guard if you're not careful.

The Badgers counted on Koenig and Hayes, two of their four senior starters, to get them within one win of another trip to the third round. "We play really fast, really hectic".

"That 1-16 game, someone can have that from here on out", Few said. "I'll explain that to the committee next year". And a mid-half injury to point guard Michael Orris (four points) didn't help the Jackrabbits' cause.

South Dakota State will take the same approach against Gonzaga, the No. 1 seed in the West. The Jackrabbits finished just 31 percent from the floor, 5-of-20 from long range.

STOPPER: The Bulldogs draped 6-9 forward Johnathan Williams on Daum for most of the game, and he kept the South Dakota State big man in check. The fourth-seeded Mountaineers (26-9) have already matched last year's win total, but have stumbled in going 11-6 since January 18. They came in with nine wins in their last 11 games.

"You really can use past year as motivation", Carolina coach Roy Williams said.

That 1-16 game, someone can have that from here on out.

There will be a day when a 16-seed beats a number-one seed in the NCAA Tournament.

But South Dakota State went scoreless in the final 3:33 and had a pair of turnovers to trail by four at the break. Last season, South Dakota State gave Maryland a scare as a No. 12 seed before falling 79-74 to the Terrapins. "We knew they were going to get going in transition, and we didn't want our shot selection or turnovers to help ignite that for them".

The Gonzaga Bulldogs are having arguably one of their best seasons in school history.

"Everybody is always focused on Gonzaga's offense, and we've been an elite program offensively for years", Few said.

Worried? Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton says he's not listening to much of the chatter about how his team is ripe for an upset.