It wasn’t really worth staying up for, but still–a matchup between two great coaches in Hall of Famer Larry Brown and Mark Few was simply no contest.
Initially, fans were forced to scramble since Stanford upended the UConn women in overtime and the first 13 minutes and 20 seconds were only seen online. By the tine the Deuce finally came on, Gonzaga raced to a 27-17 lead. The Bulldogs were led by Kevin Pangos, who nailed three triples in the first half. He would nail down two more treys and finish with a game high 17 points. Kyle Wiltjer, a transfer from Kentucky was the only other Gonzaga player to finish the evening in double figures with 10 points.
By the time SMU tried to get their offense in gear, most of their shots nicked off the front of the rim on many occasions. That led to easy transitions and big time runouts for Gonzaga at the other end.
The final shooting results told the story:
SMU shot only 31.1 percent, 19 of 61 for the entire game.
Gonzaga on the other hand, shot 27 of 60 for a decent percentage of 45%.
Briefly in other games that comprised the first quandrant of ESPN’s annual Tip-Off Marathon:
First Top Ten ranked team upset, early bracket shake-up
Miami upset Florida on their home floor 69-67, when Angel Rodriguez calmly nailed a three with less than 15 seconds remaining. He led the Canes and all scorers with 24, while the Gators were led in scoring by Eli Carter’s 21 points but it was not enough.
Iowa State, Louisville, Villanova, Indiana, Maryland, and Oregon all won their games by double digits.
Perennial Cinderella darlings of years past in Winthrop won at Clemson, 77-74 in a rather ugly contest as Clemson committed 16 turnovers and missed that same number from the charity stripe (only hitting 23 of 39 for the night and hitting a very anemic 3 of 13 from long range). The game was also marred by 54 total fouls (31 by Winthrop, the other 23 by Clemson players).
The revised version of “Dunk City”, Florida Gulf Coast continues to impress–upending the upset minded Gauchos from UC Santa Barbara, 81-75 in overtime. UCSB has suffered two very narrow losses, but only time will tell in the Committee’s minds if it is more than enough to earn one of the final at-large bids.
Finally, the surprising score came from out West–where the only pocket of warm air that remained in the United States on Monday and all of Tuesday was at Arizona State. The Sun Devils edged out Bethune-Cookman by a score of 49-39. Yes, you read that right–a score reminiscent of a time when polka dot skirts and bell bottoms were the hit of women everywhere in the 1960’s.
If the game between Auburn and Colorado turned out to be interesting, I will try to briefly point it out during one of the breakfast time games.
But, it is time for me to hit the sack.
As long as the bitter cold and howling winds outside aren’t too fierce to knock out power, I will see you later this afternoon after a really interesting matchup as Wichita State puts their regular season winning streak on the line in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in the first major neutral site game of the season against the always tough minded Memphis Tigers.
As I say away from the computers,
Pleasant (hoop) dreams.