March Madness: UNC Greensboro's upset bid ends on physics-defying miss

Adjust Comment Print

After what was a nail-biter of a game, Gonzaga beats UNC-Greesboro at the NCAA Tournament Thursday. The Zags needed this win to stay in the league race, and they got it in emphatic fashion.

Halftime-Gonzaga 32-23. 3-Point Goals-UNC Greensboro 3-22 (Galloway 1-2, Kuiper 1-4, Alonso 1-7, Troy 0-2, Smith 0-7), Gonzaga 5-23 (Perkins 2-7, Norvell 2-8, Kispert 1-2, Hachimura 0-1, Tillie 0-2, Melson 0-3).

INSIDE FORCE: Gonzaga built its 12-point lead in large thanks to Johnathan Williams, who led the Zags with 19 points and 13 rebounds.

This story will be updated. With three games in the books on Thursday, all three favorites have advanced - but it was far tighter than expected for Gonzaga and Rhode Island, with Kansas also facing an unexpected struggle from 16th-seeded Penn.

Two of the best mid-major conference basketball teams will square off in what is guaranteed to be a must watch game.

More news: Anthony Davis posts triple-double with 10 blocks vs. Jazz

Gonzaga, in its 20th straight NCAA tournament, won its first game of March Madness for the 10th straight year, though that's not the mission anymore for the Zags.

Preview: It might seem impossible for Mark Few and Gonzaga to enter a tournament under the radar, but that's exactly what happened this year. But UNC Greensboro's shooting wasn't any better - they shot 41.8% from the floor, were just 3/22 from three, and shot 50% from the charity stripe. And when the Bulldogs answered with a jumper from redshirt junior guard Josh Perkins with 51.8 seconds left, UNC-Greensboro would never lead again.

"When I shot it, I thought it was going in", Norvell said. It missed four straight inside the final 90 seconds that almost cost it the game, and the Bulldogs needed a dose of luck when a potential game-tying three-pointer by Marvin Smith went halfway down before rattling back out. They face No. 1 seed Xavier on Friday.

"I looked at coach and said, 'We've got this. And that was something new to me as a player, and something I really cherish". The Tigers then were paired with Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament victor N.C. Central, another historically black school that was making its second straight appearance in Dayton for a play-in game with a new starting lineup.