PORTLAND – Gonzaga and Texas meet Sunday in the PK80 Motion Bracket’s third-place game, informally known as Which Team Will Rebound From Heartbreak.
The Zags (4-1) came up short in a double-overtime thriller to No. 7 Florida in Friday’s semifinals. The Longhorns (4-1) lost a 16-point second-half lead and fell in overtime to No. 1 Duke.
Saturday’s day off at least gives both teams a chance to catch their breath and assemble more detailed scouting reports.
“We just have to rest up,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “We played heavy minutes in a really physical game.”
Texas led Duke for 37-plus minutes but couldn’t hold off the Blue Devils’ frantic comeback in the final 10 minutes of regulation. Still, the Longhorns look nothing like their 11-win team last season.
Third-year coach Shaka Smart, who joined Few as Team USA Basketball assistant coaches several years ago, has brought in numerous high-profile recruits, including shot-blocking center Mohamed Bamba.
Bamba, who had nine points, 10 rebounds and two blocks against Duke, will probably defend the Zags’ Johnathan Williams, who erupted for 39 points against Florida. Longhorns forward Dylan Osetkowski had 19 points, seven boards and five assists against Duke.
“Shaka is one of my closest friends,” Few said. “He’s done a phenomenal job. They were in position to win that (against Duke). They’re executing offensively, defending well. He’s got athletes.”
Texas guard Kerwin Roach II had a highlight-reel dunk and made 7 of 9 shots against the Blue Devils. Backcourt mate Andrew Jones added 16 points.
Texas made just 4 of 23 3-pointers and lost the boards, 50-39.
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