Important Missed Call In Gonzaga-Northwestern

Mar 20, 2017, 00:33
Important Missed Call In Gonzaga-Northwestern

For a fan group with a green all-time NCAA men's basketball tournament record of 1-1, they'll review how, in No. 8 Northwestern's 79-73 loss to top-seeded Gonzaga in second-round game in a Vivint Arena transformed into a hot gym, the referees blew a call, and then their coach helped blow the game.

Northwestern trimmed a 22-point deficit to five and had the ball when Gonzaga's Zach Collins reached up through the basket to reject Derek Pardon's shot with 4:54 left. The NCAA later acknowledged what everybody saw live and later on replay: that Gonzaga's Zach Collins had put his hand through the rim to block that shot.

Even though the blown call on Collins' goaltending resulted in a pivotal four-point swing, Bulldogs coach Mark Few wasn't convinced that was the ultimate difference maker. He drew a technical, and instead of Northwestern cutting the lead to three, Gonzaga hit both free throws to make it 65-58.

Gonzaga led its second-round NCAA Tournament game 63-56, but the Wildcats were closing fast.

The Zags had gone into the half with a seemingly safe 18-point lead after dominating the first 20 minutes, making Northwestern's Cinderella story look as though it was ready to close its final chapter.

"There were a lot of times during the season where we could have just laid down and not have made it this far, but we knew what we wanted to do and wanted to fight through it", he said. They became the lovable group from outside of Chicago with famous alumni and more famous parents, but they were, up to this point, the team with no true basketball legacy or much of a history. Then it comes down to, how can they guard our posts and if they bring a double how do we handle that. "Yes, I believe we had a great chance to win if the correct call was made".

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"The guy puts his hand through the rim, " he continued.

Collins was sitting at the postgame news conference when he learned about the NCAA statement admitting the bad call.

"In all of these games, I feel like Northwestern has had the most fans", sophomore forward Vic Law said. Northwestern was completely overwhelmed by the defensive intensity with which Gonzaga played during the opening 20 minutes, and finished the first half shooting 30% from the field and 1-11 from 3. They're also allowed to add points to the board if they wave off a bucket for offensive basket interference, but find that the call shouldn't have been made. Williams-Goss quickly dialed up a basket from the perimeter on the other end.

But there was another big moment late in the second half of Saturday's game, and if GU had lost it might have been as memorable.

"We're always going to attack inside out", said assistant coach Tommy Lloyd, who compiled the scouting report. I wanted to be a part of that first team to make it to the NCAA tournament.

Northwestern's 53 second half points were the most points that Gonzaga has given in a half up this season.