By EDDIE PELLS, A.P. National writer
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Can anyone stop these people?
For the 30th straight time of this season, Gonzaga answered the question with a resounding “no”.
The Bulldogs got a roll and put on a show, cruising into the Final Four with an 85-66 Southern California team that was not ready to run on Tuesday night.
Drew Taimy had 23 points and five rebounds and, after a sting, pretended to have his handlebar mustache slashed down to a few thousand fans in the stands.
Coach Mark Few spoke of his return to the Final Four after a four-year hiatus. “And the Zags know how to celebrate, okay?”
The top-seeded and top-ranked Bulldogs would be the third team to bring an undefeated record to the Final Four after expanding the bracket to 64 teams in 1985. The last team to be undefeated was Indiana in 1976. On Saturday, the Zags will face the winner of the subsequent Elite Eight matchup between UCLA and Michigan in the national semifinals.
Timey did everything he could against the nation’s fourth-place defense – a team that won its first three tournament games at an average of 21 points – as did everyone else in a white uniform.
Jalan Sugg finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. All-American Corey Kispert had 18 points and eight boards on the “off” night – only 6 for 19 from the floor. Gonzaga shot 44% in the second half and “only” 50% for the game. It was five under his nation-leading average, but it did not matter much.
“We just tried to keep going, which was shutting down teams in Indy all month,” Suggs said of attacking the USC zone. He said, “We didn’t let the ball get too sticky. We kept shining at a high position. There was a lot for them to deal with – good cuts from the baseline, vertical cuts from the wings.”
Blotout is considered boring, but it sometimes felt like a Globetrotters game, passing through traffic, reverse layouts, power power with a swoop from Joel Ayay (nine points), and the occasional 6-foot from post-basket flex. -10 responsible.
Gonzaga led sixth-seeded USC two minutes later, winning 8–0 25–8 and 36–15 after 8–15, when Kimpert took an easy nifty dish from Tim with 6:03 left.
“It was a little surprising,” USC coach Andy Enfield said, because we were playing great basketball. “
Zags are a way for people to do this.
They moved to the locker room from the 19th onwards and into the turnover column with a big fat void – a gold standard statue for a team that thrives on offensive efficiency.
Trash time was extended in the final 20 minutes – a lot of time for Timee to wash his handler mustache and pad the stats for the Bulldogs.
He is a statistician’s dream – a team that came in at No. 1 scoring (91.8), winning 29 of its 30 matches in double digits, and which was not going to be slowed by Brothers Mobley – Isaiah and Evan – Hang in the middle for one of the highest teams in the country (average height, 6-7).
They both had them – Isaiah with 19 points and seven rebellions, and Evan with 17 and five – but the evening belonged to the Bulldogs.
“It’s such a special achievement, and it has to do with going as crazy as this year, as challenging as it is,” said some, whose team canceled four matches in December due to COVID-19 Had done it, but never lost its struggle. “They have been incredible since Day 1.”
The game was quickly interrupted by a catastrophic moment when the official Burt Smith fell to the floor and had to be unloaded in a wheelchair. In the second half, CBS passed with the word that Smith was feeling fine and resting in the arena.
He was replaced by Tony Henderson, but there was no heavy lifting to backup.
USC did not get over 16 in the second half, and although their intensity strayed several times, there was no doubt that the Zags would return to Lucas Oil Stadium this weekend, two far from perfection.
The all-region team consisted of both the Moby brothers, Suggs, Kispert and Taimy, who were named the West’s most outstanding players. Timme had 45 points and 11 rebounds in two matches this week.
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