Published: Sat, March 18, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 8 Northwestern Prediction, Game Preview

No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 8 Northwestern Prediction, Game Preview

Northwestern is having a 1995 Rose Bowl-esque season.

The dream continues for Northwestern, who will play No. 1 seed Gonzaga on Saturday in Salt Lake City at a time yet to be announced.

Matthew Fisher-Davis may be the goat in Vanderbilt's first-round loss in the NCAA Tournament against Northwestern, but his head coach isn't about to throw him under the bus.

After taking a 1-point lead on a layup with 17.8 seconds to go, Vanderbilt's Matthew Fisher-Davis curiously fouled Northwestern's Bryant McIntosh.

Before the foul, Riley LaChance had just hit a two-point field goal to put the Commodores up, 66-65, with 18 seconds left. Never at any point did Northwestern wilt under pressure, and it offered a handsome example to Wildcats coach Chris Collins of how far this group of players has progressed.

The Wildcats' greatest triumph before this season might have been an overtime victory over MI with four-fifths of its Fab Five (Chris Webber was already in the NBA) during the final regular-season game of the 1993-94 season. "I thought he dominated the game. We rely on him to lead us in every fashion, to score, to assist, to be a vocal leader". We've executed well. We've gotten stops.

McIntosh has made 86.41% of his free throws throughout the season.

But, things didn't end there. The junior led the Wildcats with 25 points.

UNCW's Kevin Keatts reportedly meeting with NC State about head coaching vacancy
They narrowly lost to Duke in the first round past year , and fell 76-71 against Virginia on Thursday as a No. 12 seed. The 44-year-old Keatts will now have to battle against the likes of Duke and North Carolina on a consistent basis.

"And that's a testament of the work he does, hundreds and hundreds of free throws", said Collins of Pardon - who made six-straight free throws in the second half.

Arizona used a 13-1 run early in the first half to take 24-13 lead and never looked back.

McIntosh-who already had 23 points on the biggest stage of his career-says he was just "looking to push the ball up the floor", where coach Chris Collins likely would've looked to get McIntosh isolated for a drive and a shot in the final five seconds. You feel for players, especially the kind of game he had (22 points).

Forward Johnathan Williams was strong enough to keep South Dakota State's Mike Daum, the nation's second-leading scorer, in check and quick enough to switch out onto the Jackrabbits' guards on the perimeter.

Gonzaga isn't likely to experience the same degree of offensive struggles in the second round. The Bulldogs did score victories over Iowa State with PG Monte Morris, and Washington with PG Markelle Fultz, but that was back around the 2016 holidays.

"That could have lost us the game", Skelly said. That's not to say it was boring, it certainly wasn't if you like basketball, but it wasn't the usual mix of complete absurdity that seems to accompany the start of festivities. We weren't anxious about it. The Wildcats had just fought valiantly against Knight's Hoosiers in 1994, only to fall short, as most everyone knew they would, extending another losing streak that eventually reached nine games.

It was a game that was worth the wait as the 8th and 9th seeds battled down the stretch in one of the best games so far in the NCAA Tournament.

Like this: