Gonzaga vs. West Virginia in NCAA Tournament

What does West Virginia need to do to win this game, and what does Gonzaga need to do to win the game?

The Mountaineers committed crippling turnovers late, fouled when they knew not to, missed significant free throws when they needed them and in the end got swallowed up by a swarming defense that kept WVU from even attempting a third 3-pointer on the last possession.

The Bulldogs first had to slide past No. 16 South Dakota State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, 66-46.

Another steal by Williams-Goss led to a missed layin from Mathews, but Williams was there to clean up the mess on the putback to extend the lead to 16-13. Kansas and Gonzaga, No. 1 seeds in their respective regions, have made it back to the familiar territory of the Elite Eight along with OR and, yes, Xavier, which knocked off No. 2 seed Arizona.

Jevon Carter missed a three, but Daxter Miles grabbed an offensive rebound.

Senior Przemek Karnowski is second on the team in scoring (12.4 ppg) and rebounding (5.9), but if the 7-foot-1, 300 pounder tires while helping the Zags break the West Virginia press, Few will turn to seven-footer Zach Collins (10.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg).

I would be willing to bet not many Mountaineer fans got to bed before one o'clock and even then probably did not get to sleep until several minutes after that. Perhaps he could have made the pass to Adrian - a capable three-point shooter - for a last second look at a three.

"You tell me another team in the country who can shoot 26 percent from the field against a No. 1 seed..." West Virginia faces Gonzaga on Thursday.

Gonzaga took care of business in the Sweet 16, 61-58, but it wasn't without some adversity.




Carter led WVU with 21 points and seven rebounds. The Bulldogs are a short favorite, by just three points.

Nigel Williams-Goss answered with two free throws. Williams-Goss found Mathews in the corner for a 3-pointer to put the Zags up by two. Teams nearly never get a wide open first shot against the Zags.

The trio combined for 54 of West Virginia's points against the Fighting Irish, going 17-for-29 from the floor, including 7-for-10 on 3-pointers.

Jordan Mathews, tagged with his fourth foul - didn't every player start this game with four fouls? - and anchored to the Gonzaga bench for almost five minutes, checks in with 68 seconds to play.

The Mountaineers (28-8) forced Notre Dame, which ranked second nationoally with 9.3 turnovers per game, into 1- first half turnovers and 14 for the game. The length and height of Gonzaga gave West Virginia fits all night, forcing off-balance and poor shots.

As the half got underway, it was more of the same for the two teams as foul after foul was called. "Everybody knows where to make the rotations and everybody knows if we have no ball pressure we have no press". Many thought Arizona would ultimately be the team to end Gonzaga's March Madness run, but now that the Wildcats are out of it.

All of that should have opened the door for WVU, a team averaging 82 points a game, a chance to run away, except they were having trouble hitting the rim, let alone making baskets.

Mathews went just 4-of-12 from the floor Thursday, but his final attempt made the difference as his 3-pointer gave the Zags a lead they would not relinquish.

"We had a shoot-around walk-through today and made every shot".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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