SPOKANE, Wash. – Happy Sunday, Zags fans.
Your Gonzaga Bulldogs are heading to the National Championship game of the 2017 NCAA Tournament after beating South Carolina 77-73 in the semifinal at the Final Four.
This will be Gonzaga’s first ever appearance in the National Championship game. They will take on North Carolina with tipoff scheduled for 6:20 p.m. Monday night on KREM 2.
Here is what some members of the media are saying after the Zags big win.
I tweeted out this photo of our Tagboard heat map that shows just about everyone in America was talking about Gonzaga after their win. How cool is that?
CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein tweeted out a thank you for both Gonzaga and South Carolina. The Zags led by 14 at one point in the second half before South Carolina came roaring back and took the lead. It set up the exciting finish, to which Rothstein was most appreciative.
Dear Gonzaga and South Carolina: Thanks for again reminding everyone why the NCAA Tournament is the greatest show in sports. From: America.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 2, 2017
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi went back and forth with some Twitter users who said that Gonzaga had an easy path to the championship game. Jason McIntyre of FS1 said Gonzaga played no team that had won their conference championship or their regular season championship.
Gonzaga road to Monday:— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) April 2, 2017
16 South Dakota St
7 South Carolina
No conference champ
No conference tourney champ
Lunardi replied “stop it. Just stop it. Like it never happens to anyone else”
Stop, just stop. Like it never happens to anyone else. https://t.co/4rvDXhr3mI— Joe Lunardi (@ESPNLunardi) April 2, 2017
When another person asked Lunardi to give examples, he cited the seed total for teams beaten on the way to the final for the Bulldogs was 46. Their opponent, North Carolina, also had the same amount in 2016 when they went to the National Championship before losing to Villanova.
Seed total beaten on way to NCAA final: Gonzaga 2017 (46); Carolina 2016 (46). https://t.co/hbjJ74qzPi— Joe Lunardi (@ESPNLunardi) April 2, 2017
It is also worth noting that contrary to McIntyre's tweet, Gonzaga’s first round opponent, South Dakota St, did in fact win their conference tournament championship. It is what earned them a spot in the tournament to begin with.
Seth Davis of CBS Sports was a big fan of the Zags decision to foul with 3.5 seconds left in the game while up three, forcing South Carolina to shoot two free throws. The Gamecocks’ Sindarius Thornwell missed the second free throw, and Gonzaga’s Killian Tillie got the rebound, then hit two free throws and sealed the game.
Gonzaga. Sharpie.— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) April 2, 2017
Gary Parrish of CBS Sports also raved about how much he liked Gonzaga’s late game fouling decision.
ESPN’s Dick Vitale, or better known as Dickie V, took some time after the game to pose with fans of both teams playing in the National Championship. He said he believes “the 2 best teams in the nation” are playing Monday night.
They r ready to battle / 2 # 1 seeds & I believe the 2 best teams in the nation / Best in the East vs the best in the West ! pic.twitter.com/JFO7PYuldc— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) April 2, 2017
Dan Wolken from USA TODAY tweeted out that Nigel Williams-Goss came out of the locker room saying "They said we weren't battle tested! They said we can't shoot threes!"
Williams-Goss comes out of Zags locker room screaming: "They were saying we can't shoot threes! They were saying we're not battle-tested!"— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) April 2, 2017
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