NCAA Tournament Recap: Gonzaga Advances With 86-76 Victory Over North Dakota State


It was not their best game, but they got the job done.

Gonzaga (33-2) survived multiple comeback attempts from North Dakota State (23-10), as they held on to beat the Bison 86-76 in front of 14,852 at KeyArena in a second round NCAA Tournament game.

The game started with some defensive lapses for the Bulldogs. They allowed three different North Dakota State players to score from behind the arc, and quickly found themselves down 9-4.

However, the Bulldogs would respond with a major run to end the half with a 43-30 advantage.

The fouls in this game were intriguing to say the least. North Dakota State had foul trouble in the first half, while Gonzaga caught it in the second.

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With those fouls came plenty of free throws. While the Zags managed to get to the line more than the Bison, they missed nine shots from the chariot strike. That made things more interesting than Zag fans wanted things to be.

The thing that stood out most was Gonzaga’s response to all of North Dakota State’s comeback attempts. There were two or three times the Bison cut GU’s lead to a five or six point margin. Whether it was a Kyle Wiltjer jumper or a Kevin Pangos four-point play, the Bulldogs responded every time the Bison threatened.

However, Gonzaga has to play better if they want to keep advancing in the tournament. Iowa completely routed Davidson, which shows that the Zags can likely not get away with how they played tonight.

With the win, Gonzaga advances to the third round of the NCAA Tournament, where they are slated to play seventh-seeded Iowa. That game tips off at 4:10 p.m. Sunday and can be seen on TBS.