Observations from the Gonzaga-Northwestern game

  • Observations from the Gonzaga-Northwestern game

Observations from the Gonzaga-Northwestern game

Despite the electrifying excitement and rousing school spirit, for most fans, March Madness will ultimately lead to heartbreak.

Northwestern coach Chris Collins was hit with a technical foul in a critical situation after the officials missed a basket interference against Gonzaga late in the second half. When the replays were shown, it was clear that Zach Collins had reached up through the rim to block the shot. He was wrong to treat the coaches box like a snake pit and run onto the floor to meet the official.

With the Bulldogs struggling to hang on to what once was a 22-point lead, Gonzaga center Zach Collins stuck his hand through the Northwestern rim and goaltended a Wildcat shot.

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.

What a morsel on which to chew indefinitely. But there's no way that, with five minutes remaining in the game, that value came anywhere close to the value of the two points Gonzaga scored on the technical free throws.

Nigel Williams-Goss rebounded from Thursday's disappointing outing with a much better game highlighted by a dominant first half in which he notched a 14-6-4 line.

After one particularly bad moment, he can even be seen saying: "This is so bad".

"I said to them, 'This is just the start, '" Lumpkin said. During the second half, it apparently - and understandably - got to be too much for one young Northwestern fan, who was lucky enough to watch the game in person. Really going to miss playing with this group of guys, being part of this team.

Except it wasn't called goaltending. It's a very easy call in my opinion, but it's an honest mistake.

The NCAA later issued a statement admitting that the referees blew the call.

"I appreciate the apology", Collins said, the venom practically dripping off his tongue. "I'm a human being". Do I think in my heart if Dererk gets that call and we cut it to three that we have a great chance to win?

Northwestern's first turn at the second round did contain more things about which to spend the coming years yammering. But that all changed as Northwestern McIntosh free throws and Law's thunderous dunk off the rebound made it 5 point game at 63-58 forcing Gonzaga to call timeout with 5:29 remaining.

Northwestern was making its first NCAA appearance ever and had caught the attention of the nation. Williams-Goss along with Jordan Mathews led the Bulldogs with 34 points.

That missed call, which may or may not have eventually turned the outcome of this game and been the difference between signed placards for Northwestern and a trip to the Sweet 16, was a difference-maker in the game. For this to happen during my last year, for us to make it this far, the season we had, for everything to fall into place for my last year is a dream come true for me.