Gonzaga plays Santa Clara in the WCC semifinals, Monday, March 6, 2017, at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
At the end of
Perfection was never a must.
Tuesday’s West Coast Conference men’s basketball semifinal between Gonzaga and Santa Clara was stopped after a couple possessions when it was determined the teams were using a women’s ball.
Mark Few met Jared Brownridge in the handshake line and the two took a long moment for a hug and a handshake and some claps on the shoulder, and especially some warm words. During which, presumably, the Gonzaga coach offered up a letter of recommendation.
The 3-point shot was a great equalizer for Santa Clara for a good portion of Monday night’s WCC tournament semifinal against Gonzaga. But it’s still tough to be beat high-percentage shots taken from the shadow of the rim.
Dick Vitale has seen Gonzaga enough this season to come prepared. The veteran ESPN announcer had pages and pages of material ready when the Zags blew out Santa Clara in the West Conference semifinals Monday night. At least he joked he did. But he didn’t need it. That’s because, like the Gonzaga games Vitale broadcast in Florida in November, this one was close.
There aren’t many sure things in life but Gonzaga has made reaching the WCC tournament final – and the NCAA tournament, for that matter – nearly look routine. But there was nothing routine or easy about the fourth-ranked Zags 77-68 over scrappy Santa Clara on Monday in the WCC tournament semifinals.