#9 Wichita State jumped on #1 Gonzaga early, but the Bulldogs came all the way back to take an 8 point lead in the second half. Then, Wichita State got hot from outside, Cleanthony Early and Ron Baker scored 16 points apiece and Wichita State hit a season-high 14 3-pointers, including seven straight late, to knock the top-ranked and No. 1 seeded Bulldogs out of the NCAA tournament 76-70 on Saturday.
The Shockers (28-8) advanced to the Round of 16 for the first time since 2006, while Gonzaga becomes the first top seed to be eliminated.
The Shockers face the winner of Sunday’s game between La Salle and Ole Miss. Wichita State dances after knocking off No. 1 Gonzaga.
Butler, playing without leading scorer Rotnei Clarke, stunned Gonzaga at the buzzer on this improbable Roosevelt Jones steal and prayer.
The sophomore forward looped around Gonzaga’s 7-foot center, stole an overthrown inbounds pass with 3.5 seconds left, took a peek at the clock and drove from midcourt into the lane for a buzzer-beating floater that gave No. 13 Butler a 64-63 victory over No. 8 Gonzaga.
The Bulldogs – who now have three wins over Top 10 teams – have won 13 in a row and are 16-2. They’ve got that Final Four look.
Jared Sullinger doesn’t get mad anymore. Those days are over. The Ohio State sophomore forward knows he can’t afford to lose his temper if the Buckeyes want to reach the Final Four.
So rather than sulk after foul trouble and some solid Gonzaga defense frustrated him for 36 minutes Saturday, the quickly maturing big man relaxed, took a deep breath and hoisted the Buckeyes on his broad shoulders.
Sullinger scored 18 points, including two big baskets on soft hook shots in the final 3 minutes to lead Ohio State to a 73-66 victory and a spot in the regional semifinals for the third straight year.
“I knew that throwing my body and creating contact wasn’t going to work in this game,” he said. “So I kind of just went with a little bit of finesse and just tried to get off-the-body contact and try to go up and finish.”
–Ohio State will meet the winner of the Florida State vs Cincinnati Game tomorrow. If Jared Sullinger can play focused basketball, and keep his mental toughness there is no reason why he can’t carry the Buckeyes to the Final Four or even a National Championship.–
Saint Mary’s needs OT to Top Gonzaga 78-74 to win the WCC Championship Monday night and a automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
With the score deadlocked in overtime and the ball bouncing free, opposing guards Matthew Dellavedova and Kevin Pangos collided near the scorer’s table.
The guy who grew up around Aussie Rules Football made sure he got there first, and it proved critical as Saint Mary’s (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today) pulled out a 78-74 OT victory Monday night over Gonzaga (No. 25 ESPN/USA Today, No. 24 AP) in the West Coast Conference tournament championship.
“I was trying to get my body in front of it,” said Dellavedova, who led the Gaels with 22 points. “It goes back to Australia Rules footy. I was pretty happy they called the foul on him, but I guess it could have gone either way.”
It was Saint Mary’s second WCC tourney title in three years. But it was the first time the Gaels (27-5) have won the regular-season title outright and claimed the tourney championship the same year.