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No. 5 Gonzaga stays undefeated with 79-56 win over No. 21 Saint Mary’s

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Nigel Williams-Goss scored 19 points and handed out six assists as No. 5 Gonzaga used a game-ending, 21-4 run as the Bulldogs beat No. 21 Saint Mary’s, 79-56.

Here are three takeaways from this season’s first installment of the WCC’s best rivalry:

1. It’s time to start talking about the potential of Gonzaga entering March undefeated: The Zags are the only undefeated team left in America. They’re legitimately ranked No. 5 in America. They have arguably the most underrated back court in college basketball – Nigel Williams-Goss and Josh Perkins are two former five-star point guard prospects that can share a starting lineup – and this may be the most talented, versatile and deep front line that Mark Few has ever had.

And to top it all off, they just beat their only real challenger in the WCC by 23 points.

It’s nothing close to a lock yet, not when the Zags still have to make a return trip to Moraga to play at Saint Mary’s, but it’s starting to look more and more like a real possibility that Gonzaga can enter March undefeated. The trip to Saint Mary’s will be tough, and BYU has the offensive firepower to make a run at just about anyone. The WCC is not a great league, but it is tough for Gonzaga to go on the road and take every team’s best shot in a gym packed to capacity.

Mark Few’s team has their work cut out for them.

But it’s time to start considering the possibility.

2. Which means you need to get ready for the No. 1 seed controversy!: It’s going to happen, and you know it. If the Zags run the table in the WCC and win the conference tournament title, they should be a No. 1 seed. When you enter Selection Sunday at 34-0, you get a No. 1 seed. That should be a hard-and-fast rule written into the tournament bylaws.

The bigger question is going to be what happens if Gonzaga has one or two losses on Selection Sunday, particularly in UCLA puts together the kind of résumé that we should expect them to. Then who would get the No. 1 seed out west? In an absolute best-case scenario, Gonzaga will have three wins over Saint Mary’s and wins over Arizona, Iowa State and Florida on neutral floors.

That’s not great, but it will give us plenty of fodder to argue about on podcasts and in columns.

3. Jock Landale’s inability to stay out of foul trouble ruined this matchup: Landale, the star center for Saint Mary’s, is a legitimate all-american candidate, but he spent the first 20 minutes on Saturday night battling foul trouble. He played just six minutes, and the Gaels entered the half lucky to be down just nine points. In the second half, Saint Mary’s looked like they were on the verge of taking this thing to the wire, but Landale committed three dumb fouls in the second half, getting sent to the bench as Gonzaga closed the game on a 21-4 run that made this game look like a mollywhopping instead of a WCC title fight.

Police: Thief steals electronics from UNC basketball program

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Police say someone stole thousands of dollars in electronics from the University of North Carolina men’s basketball team locker room and office while they were away for the ACC tournament.

UNC-Chapel Hill campus police said on Twitter that the break-in happened at the Dean Smith Center on March 9, and they released images of a man they believe may have been involved.

A police report says the thief managed to get into the team locker room and basketball office without forced entry, according to The Herald-Sun.

The report says the thief stole a PlayStation 4, Xbox One and clothing worth $2,900 that belonged to the athletic department. Police say the thief also stole a laptop worth $1,200 and a financial document worth about $3,000 belonging to one of the players.

No upsets over here: No. 1 seed UConn women set scoring records in first round game

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The No. 1 overall seed on the men’s side of the NCAA tournament made history on Friday night.

They because the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed in the first round of the tournament, as Virginia lost to UMBC, if you were still unaware.

Over on the women’s side, the bracket is nowhere near as broken, because UConn’s women made history, too. They set NCAA tournament records for … well, almost everything it seems like.

The Huskies were up 55-19 at the end of the first quarter of their first round game against St. Francis (PA). Those 55 points are an NCAA tournament record. They held a 94-31 lead at the half, another NCAA tournament record, and held on to win 140-52.

The 140 points that Geno Auriemma’s team scored was an NCAA tournament record. The 88 points that they won by was one point short of an NCAA tournament record 89 points that was set by Baylor in a win over Texas Southern last season.

Oh, and the Huskies set the record for more assists in an NCAA tournament game — 38 — for good measure.

All in all, I think it’s safe to say that the fans in Storrs had a better weekend than the fans in Charlottesville. Hopefully, that will allow them to forget the fact that the men’s basketball program has become a laughing stock.

2018 NCAA Tournament: Maryland Governor calls UMBC upset, so does NBC Sports’ writer son

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Never before in the history of the NCAA tournament as a No. 16 seed upset a No. 1 seed.

That was until Friday night, when UMBC sent the No. 1 overall seed Virginia packing.

And if you thought no one had picked that upset, you were wrong.

Let’s start with the Maryland Governor, who was clearly a homer in picking UMBC to not only beat Virginia, but to win a national title:

Never say never, but … that’s never going to happen bud.

But how about this: My son, who is two years old and based his picks on his hard and fast rule of “all the doggies”, called this upset!

He also called Penn over Kansas, Fullerton over Purdue and Butler winning a national title, but whatever.

That bracket is actually pretty good!

VIDEO: Virginia’s Ty Jerome does not appreciate dumb question after UMBC loss

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You have to give Virginia some credit.

After losing to No. 16 seed UMBC in the first round of the NCAA tournament, the players on that roster faced the music. They went up to the dais and answered question from reporters on national television.

There is no way they enjoyed that.

And you can tell because Ty Jerome had absolutely no interest in answering dumb questions from reporters:

He was not amused.

2018 NCAA Tournament: Saturday’s betting lines, point spreads, over-unders

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Here is the full TV schedule, with spreads, over-unders and betting lines, for every game for the first four days of the NCAA tournament.

(Lines are updated for Saturday morning.)

Pittsburgh: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner and Dana Jacobson

  • 12:10 p.m.: No. 1 Villanova (-11.5) vs. No. 9 Alabama, CBS (149.5)
  • 2:40 p.m.: No. 2 Duke (-9.5) vs. No. 7 Rhode Island, CBS (149)

Boise: Brian Anderson, Chris Webber and Lisa Byington

  • 5:15 p.m.: No. 5 Kentucky (-5.5) vs. No. 13 Buffalo, CBS (155)
  • 7:45 p.m.: No. 4 Gonzaga (-4) vs. No. 5 Ohio State, CBS (141.5)

Dallas: Spero Dedes, Steve Smith, Len Elmore and Ros Gold-Onwude

  • 6:10 p.m.: No. 3 Tennessee (-5) vs. No. 11 Loyola (Chicago), TNT (131.5)
  • 8:40: No. 3 Texas Tech (-1.5) vs. No. 6 Florida, TNT (133.5)

Wichita: Brad Nessler, Steve Lavin and Evan Washburn

  • 7:10 p.m.: No. 1 Kansas (-4.5) vs. No. 8 Seton Hall, TBS (154.5)
  • 9:40 p.m.: No. 3 Michigan (-3) vs. No. 6 Houston, TBS (135)