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The Pacific Tigers seemed to have one goal Thursday night – and it may not have been to come home with a win.
If you could pull yourself away from the Seattle Seahawks’ playoff game with the Dallas Cowboys, and the Northwest’s favorite – or something – NFL announcing crew, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, you probably turned to Gonzaga’s defensively dominant 91-48 West Coast Conference-opening victory over visiting Santa Clara.
This one was supposed to be different than Gonzaga’s recent three consecutive home nonconference routs. Tighter, more competitive. And for a while, the Zags’ New Year’s Eve matchup with Cal State Bakersfield was.
The senior transfer quarterback not only threw for 299 yards, ran for one touchdown, threw for two others, set WSU and Pac-12 single-season passing records but also made the play of the year.
Perfection doesn’t usually last all that long in college basketball. Certainly not for almost 12 minutes in a game between two Division I schools.
There is something comforting about being home for the holidays. And that’s true even in college basketball, though the atmosphere in the McCarthey Athletic Center is always different this time of the year.
Gonzaga and Tennessee, two teams ranked in the top seven nationally, went back and forth for two hours with the seventh-ranked Volunteers upsetting No. 1 GU, pulling out a 76-73 victory.
When Bill Walton is the analyst on your local college basketball game, you’re treated to many different experiences.
With 9 minutes, 36 seconds left Saturday afternoon in Gonzaga’s 103-92 victory at Creighton, Zach Norvell hit a step-back 3-pointer. He screamed. Nothing in particular. Just a scream of joy.
Gonzaga served up a large portion of roast Bison, routing visiting North Dakota State 102-60 before the usual 6,000 at the McCarthey Athletic Center on Monday night.
For those watching at home on Fox’s broadcast, the weather wasn’t a factor. It was the combination of Joe Davis, Brady Quinn, Bruce Feldman and the Fox production that made it tougher to watch.
This is what everybody wanted, right? No. 1 Duke versus No. 3 Gonzaga for the championship of the best early-season tournament of the year, the Maui Invitational. And the game lived up to it. All the way until the last seconds.
Every great comeback consists of two parts. There is the building of a deficit, the mistakes, the shortcomings, whatever goes wrong to build a hill to scramble over. And there is the climb, the slow but sure ascent to victory.
The Zags made their 2018 Maui Invitational debut late Monday night on ESPN2 with a 84-78 win over scrappy Illinois, but that wasn’t the main event, at least not on television. And not with Bill Walton doing the analysis.
The distance Washington State has traveled this year is in some ways analogous to the distance head coach Mike Leach travels many days from his home to his office.
In the past year or so, those who watch Gonzaga basketball games on television have come to know Eric Rothman and Caron Butler well.
Before the start of Gonzaga’s 104-67 blowout of Texas Southern in front of the usual 6,000 at the McCarthey Athletic Center, Greg Heister and the SWX broadcast crew took turns praising the Tigers.
There may be no quarterback west of Alabama that has played better this season than Washington State’s Gardner Minshew.
Opening night always includes a few glitches, and college basketball isn’t any different. Nor is the broadcast crew immune. But the bugs were rare enough in Gonzaga’s 120-79 season-opening win over visiting Idaho State as to be immaterial.
If there is one thing you can count on the past few weeks watching Washington State football, it is the announcing crew is going to gush over quarterback Gardner Minshew.