The basketball circle of life came full circle today as a group of Utah Utes alums avenged their school’s NCAA elimination to Gonzaga by defeating a Gonzaga alumni laden squad in Philadelphia in the Super 16 round of The Basketball Tournament. Team Utah defeated A Few Good Men by the score of 93-81, and were led by Tim Drisdom’s (whoever that is) 21 points.
A Few Good Men started out the game well enough, getting a pair of easy buckets in the paint on their first two possessions. However, a string of empty possessions and minimal perimeter defense on the other end saw them fall into a double-digit hole. Despite the deficit, it was a lot of fun watching recent Zags such as Jeremy Pargo, Micah Downs, and David Stockton on the floor together. Justin Burrell who played his college ball at St. John’s but joined AFGM provided the highlight of the first half with a turnaround dunk in the post.
Coming out of the halftime break down by 9 points, fans were hoping to see AFGM clamp down on defense and clean up the turnovers which plagued the team throughout the first 20 minutes. Unfortunately, the second half was much of the same story. AFGM were able to get the deficit down to 4 points with seven minutes to go, but Team Utah continued their hot shooting from deep and answered with a trio of 3-pointers to stretch the score to 83-70 and put themselves out of reach, eventually going on to win by a margin of 12 points.
Jeremy Pargo led all scorers with 34 points on 9-18 shooting, and showcased an impressive inside-out attack getting to the free throw line for 15 attempts while also shooting 5-10 from deep. Micah Downs had 20 points to his name, while Mike Hart stayed true to form and led all players in hustle points. Dan Dickau was in uniform, but handled the coaching duties on the sideline. Team Utah shot 13-29 from the 3-point line with Tim Drisdom going 7-9, including the backbreaking 3s late in the second half that did in AFGM.
While AFGM came up a little short in their quest for the $2 million purse up for grabs at The Basketball Tournament, they did provide fans with an opportunity to see (some form of) Gonzaga basketball in July. With a little taste of basketball to hold fans over, maybe the 70-day wait to the start of the college basketball season won’t seem so long.