The Gonzaga Bulldogs may have been the lower seeded team, but they were never much of an underdog as they controlled the Seton Hall Pirates in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament, 68-52, on Thursday night.
There was a lot of talk about how great Isaiah Whitehead was coming into the game, but the Zags completely shut him down. Whitehead scored just 10 points off of 4-of-24 shooting and was 0-for-10 from beyond the arc.
On the flipside, Domantas Sabonis turned in a vintage Domantas Sabonis performance, scoring 21 points and grabbing 16 rebounds to lead the Zags. Gonzaga was able to overcome an overall poor shooting night, as the Zags just hit 42.9 percent from the floor.
Gonzaga advances to take on the No. 3 Utah Utes on Saturday.
A few quick thoughts:
• Silas Melson was huge in the game. He attacked the defensive glass with the necessary energy to keep Seton Hall from any second chance points. He also finished the game with eight points in a game where much of the offense was starved for offense. Sabonis is the true MVP of the game, but Melson deserves a lot of credit.
• Immense amounts of credit go out to the Gonzaga defense. They limited Seton Hall to just 32.8 percent from the floor and 20 percent from beyond the arc. Most importantly, the defense maintained a person in front of Whitehead at almost all times.
• Wiltjer had a rough night, finishing the game with just 13 points off of 5-of-14 shooting. However, a lot of those shots were just a slight roll from going in. I'm not too concerned about it.
• I am concerned about the 20 turnovers. Utah's defense is rated as high by Ken Pomeroy as Seton Hall's is, but it isn't great seeing that nasty trait of this season surface its head. Hopefully, that was a one-off occurrence.