THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, REUTERS
Friday, March 16, 2018
BOISE, IDAHO -- Zach Norvell Jr. watched Gonzaga's greatest moments play out from the sideline last year.
This year, the redshirt freshman will be part of the highlight reel.
The shooting guard from Chicago hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 20.8 seconds left on Thursday to help the fourth-seeded Bulldogs escape a major scare in the West Region with a 68-64 victory over UNC Greensboro.
"He has a knack for that," coach Mark Few said. "When I saw him size the guy up, I knew that, A, he was probably going to shoot it, and, B, it was probably going to go in." Last season's national runnersup trailed 64-62 with 1:48 left after squandering a 12-point lead they took early in the second half.
Josh Perkins tied the game at 64 with a long jumper, and after Greensboro's Francis Alonso forced up a miss, Gonzaga got the rebound and worked the ball to Norvell, who spotted up from the right elbow and made the three for the lead.
As a highly touted recruit, Norvell chose Gonzaga (31-4) over Florida State and Georgetown, to name a few, but he hurt his knee leading up to last season. A long recovery, plus the fact that the Zags had a stockpile of talent at the guard position, turned Norvell into a bystander last year while the Bulldogs were making the program's first run to the Final Four.
He's been front and centre 2017-18, starting most of the season and averaging 12 points a game. And even though he was 2 for 11 before his game-winner, he had the confidence to keep shooting.
"Every time I missed, all the guys came to me and said, 'The next one is going in, the next one is going in,' " Norvell said. "So I had no choice but to make a bucket."
After Norvell's go-ahead hoop, Alonso got called for an offensive foul, but on the ensuing possession, Gonzaga's Rui Hachimura missed a pair of free throws. Marvin Smith had a chance to tie it, and his three-point attempt looked spot on, but it bounded in and out. Norvell made one more free throw to ice the game and finish with 15 points.
Gonzaga, in its 20th straight NCAA tournament, won its first game of March Madness for the 10th straight year, though that's not the mission any more for the Zags. They came into the tournament playing well enough to make another run at the Final Four.
LOYOLA-CHICAGO 64, MIAMI 62
Swingman Donte Ingram hit a long three-pointer with 0.3 seconds left to give 11th-seeded Loyola-Chicago a 64-62 victory over sixth-seeded Miami on Thursday in a South Regional first-round NCAA Tournament game at Dallas.
The win was the 11th in a row and 18th in 19 outings for the Ramblers (29-5), who will take on Tennessee in the second round Saturday.
The Hurricanes (22-10) had one last attempt after Ingram's shot but couldn't complete a long inbound pass.
Clayton Custer led Loyola with 14 points and Ingram finished with 13. Lonnie Walker IV led Miami with 12 points but had a key turnover with 23.5 seconds left and missed the first of a one-andone free throw awarded with 9.2 seconds remaining to give Loyola a final opportunity.
TENNESSEE 73, WRIGHT STATE 47
The Volunteers' winning formula of balance and tough defence was on full display during a win at Dallas in other South Regional action Lamonte Turner had a game-high 19 points and nine assists off the bench for Tennessee (26-8). Admiral Schofield added 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Loudon Love scored 12 points for the Raiders (25-10) and Everett Winchester added 11.
KANSAS 76, PENN 60
Devonte' Graham finished with 29 points, six rebounds and six assists as the Jayhawks downed the stubborn Quakers at Wichita, Kan., in Midwest Region action.
Lagerald Vick added 14 points for the Jayhawks, while senior guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and sophomore guard Malik Newman scored 10 each. Kansas (28-7) will play Seton Hall on Saturday.
Penn led by 10 in the first half and was still within single digits after a bucket by AJ Brodeur made it 62-54 with 6:24 remaining. The Ivy League champion Quakers were hurt, however, by 5-for-14 shooting from the foul line. Brodeur and Caleb Wood each scored 14 points for Penn (24-9).
DUKE 89, IONA 67
Marvin Bagley III dominated in the lane and scored 22 points in his NCAA Tournament debut as the Blue Devils trounced the Gaels at Pittsburgh.
Trevon Duval poured in 19 points, while Grayson Allen and Gary Trent Jr. each finished with 16 points for Duke (27-7), which will meet Rhode Island on Saturday. Coach Mike Krzyzewski extended his record for NCAA Tournament victories to 92.
Roland Griffin had 21 points on 9-for-12 shooting off the bench, TK Edogi posted 11 points and Zach Lewis and Rickey McGill both had 10 points for Iona (20-14). The Gaels lost in the tournament's first round for the third year in a row.
RHODE ISLAND 83, OKLAHOMA 78
(OT) E.C. Matthews hit two threepointers in the final two minutes of overtime as the Rams defeated the Sooners, dismissing the country's leading scorer Trae Young at Pittsburgh.
Young, a freshman sensation believed to be headed to the NBA next, scored 28 points for Oklahoma (18-14).
Matthews posted 16 points, Fatts Russell provided 15 points off the bench, Cyril Langevine poured in 12 of his 14 points in the second half and Jared Terrell had 13 points for Rhode Island (26-7).
SETON HALL 94, NORTH CAROLINA STATE 83
Khadeen Carrington had 26 points and Desi Rodriguez added 20 off the bench to lead the Pirates past Wolfpack in Wichita, Kan. Allerik Freeman had a season-high 36 points and Torin Dorn added 18 points and 12 rebounds for NC State (21-12). The Wolfpack lost for the third time in four games to end their season.
Seton Hall (22-11) survived in large part because the Wolfpack struggled from the free-throw stripe, where they shot just 59.3 per cent, 16 of 27. The Pirates made 31 of 39 foul shots, 79.5 per cent.
OHIO STATE 81, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 73
Keita Bates-Diop had 24 points and 12 rebounds, and Kam Williams scored a season-high 22 points, including seven in a row in the final 96 seconds, as the Buckeyes held off the Jackrabbits in Boise, Idaho, in West Region first-round action Williams hit a three-pointer with 1:36 remaining and converted the free throw when fouled on the play to break a tie at 70.
After the subsequent South Dakota State miss, he converted all three free throws when fouled on a three-point attempt with 55 seconds left for a 77-70 lead.
C.J. Jackson had 20 points, nine rebounds and five assists for Ohio State (25-8), which lost all of a 13-point secondhalf lead before Williams' clutch play near the end. Mike Daum had 27 points and six rebounds for South Dakota State (28-7).
Ohio State guard Kam Williams shoots against South Dakota State during a first-round game on Thursday.