It’s possible that Gonzaga could lose. It’s really, really hard to go undefeated with a national championship in college basketball (it’s only happened seven times). And they will need to beat other great teams to get it done, with No. 1 seeds Michigan and Baylor, No. 2 seed Houston, and No. 11 seed UCLA (who’s far more talented than the seeding suggests) still alive ahead of the Final Four. But if the Zags play anything like they’re capable of, they’re not losing to anybody. The good — even decent — version of Gonzaga is a level above everybody else in the country.
Gonzaga was indeed on their game against USC on Tuesday night in the Elite Eight, and that was bad news for the Trojans.
The Bulldogs came away with an 85-66 win over USC, and the game wasn’t even as close as the score suggests. Gonzaga absolutely dominated this game from the opening tip and USC never made the game close (heck, Gonzaga even had a 7-0 lead to start the game). The Zags shot 50% from the field and broke through USC’s zone defense with ease.
Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs — who could go No. 1 overall in the 2021 NBA Draft — led the charge, scoring 18 points (7-of-11 from the field, 2-of-4 on threes, 2-of-2 at the line), pulling down 10 rebounds, and dishing out eight assists. The Zags also got 23 points from Drew Timme and 18 points from Corey Kispert.
Jalen. Suggs. 🔥🔥🔥
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) March 31, 2021
There was a very scary moment in the first half, when referee Bert Smith collapsed and was stretchered off the court. Thankfully, Smith “is alert and stable and will not be transported to a hospital,” according to the last update from the NCAA.
In what feels sort of surprising due to their incredible basketball success over the last 20+ years, this is actually just Gonzaga’s second trip to the Final Four, with the only appearance taking place in 2017. They finished as the national runner-up in that season.
Gonzaga will face the winner of Tuesday night’s UCLA-Michigan game in the Final Four.