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The second time around, it didn’t seem as easy for Anthony Gordon and the Washington State Cougars.
Going into the Elite Eight matchup between the nation’s most efficient offensive team, Gonzaga, and the nation’s most efficient defensive squad, Texas Tech, there was an easy narrative to latch on to.
Last year, Florida State locked down Gonzaga’s offense and won by 15. Thursday night in Anaheim, Mark Few’s team turned the tables, winning 72-58 to head to the Elite Eight for the second time in three years.
The NCAA Tournament is, in essence, a new season. With new goals, new opponents and new voices.
The script for this one has been performed before. Twice this season, in fact. Underdog Saint Mary’s stays close to top-ranked Gonzaga for a while. The Gaels slow the pace, hit shots, deny transition and for 20, 30 minutes, force GU to play their way. And then the Zags explode. Except on Tuesday night in Las Vegas, they didn’t.
Dick Vitale is enamored with GU’s penchant for sharing the ball and how that leads to togetherness throughout the game.
Be honest. Part of you was hoping top-ranked Gonzaga would have a close, competitive West Coast Conference game this season. Maybe not this close, not this competitive. Well, for a little more than a half.
If February comes in like a pack of rabid hyenas, it goes out like a lion. A regal, ancient lion. So it may be appropriate the final day of February this year ended with P.J. Carlesimo serving as the analyst on ESPN’s Gonzaga-Pacific broadcast.
When ESPN broadcasts Gonzaga basketball games, there are a few things you can count on.
Senior Night doesn’t come for the second-ranked Gonzaga basketball team until Saturday. But, in a sense, it came for the KHQ broadcast crew Thursday night.
Yes, Bill Walton is enamored with just about everyone who has ever played college basketball, but he seems especially smitten with Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke.
Sooner or later, Gonzaga was going to have one of those nights. A night when the shots don’t fall. When the outside shots are more often than not clanging off the rim instead of finding the net.
The way Gonzaga has been playing lately, it was a good thing Sean Farnham was in Spokane to broadcast the Saint Mary’s game for ESPN2.
The first two games between fourth-ranked Gonzaga and the University of San Francisco haven’t been within single digits. Close, maybe not, but intense? That’s for sure.
The University of San Diego men’s basketball team has never won a game in the McCarthey Athletic Center.
Most times Gonzaga appears on an ESPN network, the analyst informing the viewer about the Bulldogs, this year and in the past, have little to no connection to one of the nation’s winningest program this century.
Early in Gonzaga’s blowout win over host Santa Clara on Thursday night, the SWX broadcast flashed a graphic on the screen. It listed the four schools that had ever won 26 consecutive conference road games
Tom Glasgow deserves some points for honesty. The veteran broadcaster, who handled the play-by-play chores on Saturday night’s Gonzaga contest, shown on KAYU in the Spokane area, was blunt before the game began.
No matter how you feel about the local broadcast trio who bring Gonzaga’s basketball games into local living rooms, there is something comforting about the continuity of roles.
The West Coast Conference’s two best teams, circa 2019, met Saturday night in the University of San Francisco’s venerable War Memorial Gymnasium with the visiting Zags coming out on top, 96-83.