Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

NCAA tournament: Gonzaga back in Sweet 16

NCAA tournament: Gonzaga back in Sweet 16

The Bulldogs felt scrutiny all season as they climbed to the top ranking in the country and ripped off 29 straight wins before losing in their regular season finale to BYU.

That's not going to help Northwestern players or their fans sleep on Saturday night.

He became the camera's favorite subject during the second half of the Wildcats' second round NCAA Tournament loss to Gonzaga, especially after a CBS camera got up close on his face after a bad call. The Bulldogs faced the pressure and won - like they have done all season long.

"I just tried to go on the court and have fun and put my energy into it", Tillie said. We were undefeated and we didn't feel any of that. "And they just had kind of a spirit of a victor, and we talked about that at halftime. We all enjoy competing at the highest level". A Northwestern fan base that had spent the vast majority of the game trying to shrug off its gloom and provide its Wildcats with support had now been lifted off its feet by the most valiant of second-half fight backs.

A closer, slowed down look at the play clearly shows Gonzaga's Zach Collings interfering with the basket as his hand actually went throught the hoop before making the block. It was Taphorn again on a inbound pass hit a National Basketball Association three putting Northwestern in single digits Gonzaga now holds a 9 point lead 59-50 with 8:41 remaining. It wasn't called and Northwestern head coach Chris Collins lost control, receiving a technical in the process. The NCAA released a statement following the game that confirmed the officiating crew erred in not calling goaltending. And we basically just survived and hung in at the end.

Nigel Williams-Goss led the Zags with 20 points, to go along with eight rebounds and four assists. "We had all the pieces to be special. This is just a beginning and I can't wait to see what the future holds". Mathews was an impact defensive presence, and played with great activity that disrupted Northwestern's offense.

Nothing came easy for the Cavaliers, who shot just 29.6 percent from the floor (16 of 54), including 1-for-15 from behind the arc while also setting a season low with 17 first-half points.

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Things changed once those outside shots started falling in the second half.

It was a good run while it lasted for Northwestern. They trimmed the deficit further to 63-58 with 5:31 remaining on Law's putback dunk following a missed 3 from McIntosh.

As for the fight back into the game, that was reminiscent of the season, said center Dererk Pardon.

Collins - a former Chicago Bulls coach and father of NU Men's Basketball Coach Chris Collins - declined to talk about his rollercoaster experience watching as a fan.

For a player who is defensively and athletically already among the Big Ten's elite, Law will need to use the physical tools that he already has in his arsenal to add an element or two to his offensive game going forward.

". I mean, we made history in a way that's never been done at this university".

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