Gonzaga’s dominant start ran out of fuel in Saturday’s rematch, but if nothing else, the 15-0 lead that was manufactured in the opening 5-plus minutes gave the Bulldogs a sweet – and important – insurance policy in a game that could have slipped out of their hands midway through the second half.
Two nights after burying a late 3-pointer to sink UNC Greensboro, Zach Norvell Jr. was back at it with a season-high 28 points as the Zags rallied for a 90-84 victory over Ohio State to reach the Sweet 16 for the fourth consecutive season.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs knew they were in for a fight against Ohio State.
Riccardo Fois took the hardest charge during Gonzaga’s 90-84 win over Ohio State, and even if it cost him a pair of eyeglasses, the Bulldogs’ video coordinator said he was proud to wear Josh Perkins’ first-half hit.
The view of Gonzaga’s 90-84 NCAA second-round win over Ohio State was better for the television audience, though many things they saw might have been better avoided.
The key moment, offensive player of the game and defensive player of the game from Gonzaga’s 90-84 win over Ohio State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, March 17, 2018.
Zach Norvell Jr. poured in a career-best 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as No. 4-seeded Gonzaga outlasted a furious comeback attempt from fifth-seeded Ohio State to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament with a 90-84 victory on Saturday at the Taco Bell Arena.
Gonzaga’s history in the NCAA Tournament dates back to 1995. There’s been 20 appearances, 48 games and 29 victories. But Saturday’s game against Ohio State will mark just the second time the Bulldogs have gone head-to-head with a team they saw earlier in the same season.
Keita Bates-Diop is playing this NCAA Tournament for the “Ohio State” on the front of his jersey, but largely for the “Bates-Diop” on the back of it. It sounds self-serving at first, but not when you hear the All-American’s reasoning.
In Gonzaga’s inaugural run to the Final Four last season, Zach Norvell Jr. was forced to just watch.