The wildest game on the night on Wednesday night took place well off the beaten path.
Gardner-Webb and VMI battled for 60 minutes, a four overtime game that featured three buzzer-beaters from the Keydets before they finally pulled away from GWU.
“Bless my guys,” head coach Dugger Baucom said after the game. “I just kept telling them to believe. Some of those overtimes, we were completely out of it. Miraculous things had to happen and they did. I am super proud of my guys.”
You like fun box scores? I do. How about some of these stats:
- Gardner-Webb took 99 field goals and grabbed 30 offensive rebounds. And lost.
- The Bulldogs had one player go for 24 points and 25 boards and another player finish with 15 points and 15 boards. And lost!
- Tyrell Nelson, who finished with 24 points, 11 offensive rebounds and 14 defensive rebounds, came off the bench.
- VMI had four players finish with 20-or-more points, with all four playing more than 50 minutes.
Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.
The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.
It wasn’t pretty.
And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.
Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.
The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.
But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.
Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: