The Wildcats, making their first trip to the NCAA tournament, had been labeled as a March Madness Cinderella and a David (to top-seeded Gonzaga's Goliath).
"It was unbelievable to look up in the stands and hear the chants about us", said forward Sanjay Lumpkin of all those that have come to Utah to cheer the team on. "... And at the end of the day, we just competed".
SALT LAKE CITY-The NCAA Tournament's West Region is all wrapped up after Arizona men's basketball defeated Saint Mary's in Saturday's second round game in Salt Lake City.
However, instead of sulking about a game where the Wildcats once found themselves down 22 points in the first half and whittled down its deficit to a 5-point game late, the team found itself doing whatever it could to remember its first ride to the NCAA tournament.
And as the moderator read the NCAA's statement about the missed call, Collins sat at the podium and allowed his face to tell his version of the story.
Collins' technical didn't help, but his "T" didn't blow the game for Northwestern either. They issued a statement. While he had a right to be upset, Chris Collins had been flirting with a tech all game with some of his sideline protestations, and the refs rightfully had enough when he ran onto the court.
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The fourth-seeded West Virginia Mountaineers (27-8) resume their one-time conference rivalry against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (26-9) in a matchup of teams that play with contrasting styles. McIntosh drove the lane and dumped it off to Dererk Pardon, who had his dunk attempt stuffed.by a player with his hand through the hoop. "We're all emotional. We're coming back from 20 down".
"I mean it would have been a three-point game", he said. The Bulldogs went on 18-4 run over a 10-minute stretch to take a 24-10 lead at the 6:04 mark in the first half.
In the end nether team shot the ball particularly well, Gonzaga went just 44.1% while Northwestern was 40.9%. "But it's an honest mistake". In an emotionally charged game that devolved into a foul-fest in the second half - 17 on Northwestern, 12 on Gonzaga - his protests crept closer and closer to the line as the game wore on.
But Northwestern came roaring back in the second half, for reasons I can't fully explain.
Collins, as could be expected, was appreciative of the NCAA's apology. Williams-Goss quickly dialed up a basket from the perimeter on the other end. "It makes me feel great", he said deadpanned, the last part garnering laughter from writers in the crowd. But most of all, I guess I'm just happy at Northwestern for being much better than I had ever hoped. Bonzie Colson led the Irish with 27 points and eight rebounds, including a career-high four 3-pointers.
Defensively, he had done his usual lockdown job on Williams-Goss in the first half but to little avail, as the Zags star easily maneuvered his way around screens to either get shots off over Law's long arms or fight his way to the rim at will en route to 14 points on 50 percent shooting.