Ernie Johnson may not have, but Gonzaga fans knew better. An 18-point halftime lead was not the end of the story. Period.
The key moment, offensive player of the game and defensive player of the game from Gonzaga’s 79-73 win over Northwestern on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City.
Gonzaga’s game against NCAA Tournament darling Northwestern went from sleeper to classic. But the top-seeded Bulldogs held off the Wildcats just long enough to escape Salt Lake City with an 79-73 victory.
Live updates from top-seeded Gonzaga’s second-round game against No. 8 seed Northwestern.
Northwestern’s offense revolves around guard Bryant McIntosh (14.7 points per game) and wings Scottie Lindsey (14.2) and Vic Law (12.1). Law is listed as a 6-foot-7 forward but he’s the Wildcats’ best spot-up 3-point shooter. McIntosh made 41 3s but with just 31-percent accuracy.
The text showed up on Przemek Karnowski’s phone on Thursday. “Hey, I don’t know who to root for?” The author: Dr. John Shuster, the orthopaedic spine surgeon who performed Karnowski’s disc surgery on Dec. 31, 2016. The rub: Shuster earned his Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Northwestern in 1987.
The top-seeded Zags (33-1) are essentially considering it as a road game Saturday when they face No. 8 Northwestern (24-11) with a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16 on the line.
In a Northwestern locker room aswirl in joy and delirium on Thursday night, a reporter approached Wildcat sub Gavin Skelly at his locker. Skelly flashed a big grin and patted the empty seat next to him. “Pull up a chair,” he said.
When asked to compare Gonzaga’s Przemek Karnowki and a player of similarly sizable stature from the Big Ten, Northwestern forward Derek Pardon described Karnowski as “heavyset.”
With 16 seconds left in No. 8 seed Northwestern’s 68-66 victory over No. 9 seed Vanderbilt, you could have made a pretty good case for Matthew Fisher-Davis as game MVP.