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10 Observations from Gonzaga’s win over TCU

Another Sweet 16 run for the Zags

TCU v Gonzaga Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
  1. Drew Timme is a legend. There can be no doubt about that now after another massive performance on the biggest stage. His 28 points, eight rebounds, and three assists led the Zags against a tough TCU team, and he was always there in big moments. Certain post-game interviews just add to the legend.
  2. Timme first made his presence felt by scoring the first six points of the game for Gonzaga, but the rest of the offense took some time to catch up. They were settling for a lot of threes early on and couldn’t get them to fall, which isn’t a great recipe for a Zags team that does not typically rely on the deep ball.
  3. TCU, props to them, came out with more energy and intensity to start the game. They were active in forcing the Zags into taking long jumpers and did a much better job of penetrating and finding their way into the paint on the other end of the floor.
  4. The Zags were a bit lucky to go into halftime only down five. Luckily for them, the Horned Frogs slowed down on offense to close the first, and some guys not named Timme were able to put the ball in the hoop.
  5. Malachi Smith was one of those guys. He finished with a relatively quiet 11 points, but each basket seemed to come at an opportune time for the Zags. It was a performance becoming of the WCC’s Sixth Man of the Year.
  6. Rasir Bolton was hot to open the second half, and his pair of threes helped give the Zags momentum. It was great to see him emerge as the secondary scoring option in this game, making those shots and getting to the free throw line a bunch as well.
  7. This game had quite a few similarities to last year’s second-round win against Memphis. Luckily the Zags were able to repeat their second half run, but that didn’t keep it from staying interesting at the end.
  8. The defensive combination of Bolton, Smith, Hunter Sallis, and Anton Watson was huge in helping Gonzaga make that second half push. The Zags were much better in forcing turnovers and making TCU uncomfortable with that group on the floor, and it was reassuring to see Mark Few stick with that group for an extended run.
  9. A big part of that defensive span was holding TCU’s Mike Miles in check. He went scoreless for almost nine minutes in the second half, which coincided with the Zags’ biggest run.
  10. Gonzaga will be playing on the second weekend for the eighth straight tournament. No other team right now can say that. Not bad for a team that can’t win in March.