Gonzaga plays hard. That is evident. They appeared to still be showing nerves into the second game. The Wichita State loss, however, lies solely with the coaching staff. Here’s why:
With the score tied at 10 and 12:41 to go in the first half, Coach Few went to a smaller lineup and in less than 6 minutes, Wichita State ballooned to a 26-13 lead, hitting four 3-pointers along the way.
With 6:51 left in the first half, Coach Few switched to the taller lineup. Rotating Barnam, Hart and Draganis (all 6-feet-5 or better), the Zags began rolling. Using this lineup, the Zags were not only able to defend the 3-pointer, but they erased the 13-point deficit and were leading 49-44 when, with 10:37 left in the game, almost unbelievably he switched back to the lineup that had created the mess and played it the rest of the game!
It was like watching two separate games. With the smaller lineup, Wichita State outscored Gonzaga 48-24. With the taller lineup, Gonzaga outscored Wichita State 46-28.
The Zags played to the best of their abilities, hard at all times. Blame no player. They were simply outcoached.