Zags Rout USC, Punch Final Four Ticket, Two Wins to Perfection
On the very first possession of the game, after USC controlled the opening tip, Drew Timme stole the ball. Timme is the center for Gonzaga. He drove the length of the court and scored. The Zags used steals, turnovers and transition baskets to blitz the Trojans, blazing to a 7-0 lead, and did not look back. Gonzaga was never seriously challenged.
Drew Timme, and his Drew Manchu mustache inspiring mucho memes, powered the Gonzaga Bulldogs into the Final Four with a 85-66 win over the USC Trojans. It is the first Final Four for the Zags since the 2017 season where Gonzaga fell in the title tilt to the North Carolina Tar Heels.
It was the Drew Timme Show in the first half. The super sophomore was 6-for-9 shooting from the floor, leading Gonzaga with 15 points, helping to build a 49-30 Bulldog halftime lead. The Zags' biggest cushion of the first half was 21 points.
In the second half, the lead ballooned to 23 points before the Trojans began to cosmetically chip away, but the outcome was long decided with double digit minutes left to play in the contest.
Joel Ayayi took an elbow to the nose on USC's first points of the game, but he came back soon after and was fine.
Jalen Suggs had another elegantly efficient day at the office as the floor leader. What strikes me about the Zags is the unselfish play across the board, and they all can stroke it, so how do you defend them all?
Seriously, it was hard to determine which aspect of the Zags game was more outstanding, the offensive or defensive end. Both were mighty impressive.
High drama early in the first half as an official collapsed on the court and had to be taken away on a stretcher. He's recovering in an Indianapolis hospital.
Corey Kispert, the All-American, had a good game, not a great game. I look for him to have an amazing Final Four. With about 50 seconds to play and the lead 83-64, Coach Mark Few emptied the bench and let the 'scrubs' replace the starters to get their names in the scorebook for posterity sake. For the record, most every player on Gonzaga's bench would be a starter just about everywhere else.
The Zags will be a heavy favorite over UCLA. a surprise upset winner over top-seeded Michigan going from the First Four to the Final Four, in the second national semi-final, the late contest, Baylor and Houston are first, this Saturday. It has been 403 days since Gonzaga lost a basketball game.