“Coach (Mark) Few said we have to get our hard hats on,” said senior point guard Josh Perkins, characterizing Saturday’s matchup between top-seeded Gonzaga and hard-nosed Baylor in the NCAA Tournament round of 32.
Megan Gustafson scored 30 points with 16 rebounds and second-seeded Iowa narrowly avoided a monumental upset, holding off No. 15 Mercer 66-61 on Friday in Iowa City, Iowa, for its first NCAA Tournament win in four years.
Baylor (20-13) and Gonzaga (31-3) will play for a Sweet Sixteen berth Saturday at 4:10 p.m. PT (TBS) in Salt Lake City. The schools have never met in the NCAA Tournament, but the Bulldogs have won each of the four regular-season meetings – most recently in 2013, when GU won 94-87 in Spokane.
There was no Saint Mary’s hangover, no sweating out a 1-vs.-16-seed opener the way the Zags experienced in 2013 against Southern. There was top-seeded Gonzaga’s 87-49 runaway Thursday that broke the school record for largest margin of victory in an NCAA Tournament game, surpassing a 27-point rout of Valparaiso in Seattle in 2004.
Rui Hachimura scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds as top-seeded Gonzaga throttled No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson 87-49 on Thursday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena.