Tuesday, 26 September, 2017

Vic Law's impressive yet incomplete performance against Gonzaga emblematic of his season

Former NBA coach Doug Collins left son Chris Collins Former NBA coach Doug Collins left son Chris Collins
Damon Campbell | 20 March, 2017, 00:53

Here's Collins' reaction as he hears the NCAA's statement for the first time.

Not only did it erase a bucket, but the call also led head coach Chris Collins to pick up a tech. But the Bulldogs didn't wait to grab control of the game, opening up a 10-0 run aided by NU's five early turnovers, a whole lot of missed shots and some favorable calls.

Still, it is hard to not wonder what the outcome might have been if Northwestern had been given two points instead of giving two free throws to Gonzaga. But there should be a YO, HE PUT HIS ARM THROUGH THE BASKET exception, for when a player sticks his freakin' arm through the basket and none of the refs say anything. It's common this time of year - and throughout college sports - in the social media age, as TV cameras are quick to spotlight emotional fans in the stands and everybody online is immediately ready to make those camera shots go viral. I suppose this makes sense - if they were allowed to review everything, there could be a problem with game length.

Northwestern shot 50% (18-of-36) from the field in the second half.

As the minutes section of the many electronic game clocks displays simultaneously ticked from "6" to "5", a raucous, half-disbelieving buzz swelled from the large purple section of the seats in Vivint Smart Home Arena and resounded throughout every corner of the building. This kid that was shown on CBS during the Northwestern-Gonzaga game is all of us. But No. 8 Northwestern was no match for the Zags, who were making their 19th NCAA tourney appearance in a row and are off to the Sweet 16 for a third season in succession. "Kind of a rough call toward the end there, but it was a good season. We just came up a little bit short".

Collins had a few big moments. "But it's an honest mistake". Bryant McIntosh scored 13 of his 20 points in the second half and Vic Law had 15 of his 18, as Northwestern finally found an answer for Gonzaga's quick guards and smooth-as-can-be ball movement. That is when Northwestern made its run.

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Northwestern head coach Chris Collins went berserk when the foul wasn't called, and drew a technical foul for his team. Referees are human beings.

But Northwestern came roaring back in the second half, for reasons I can't fully explain. I don't necessarily think when you get into the NCAA tournament and have one day of prep you switch everything you're doing.

Nigel Williams-Goss led the Zags with 20 points, to go along with eight rebounds and four assists. They made a call, so we've got to live with it.

Salt Lake City - Lauri Markkanen and Allonzo Trier combined for 30 points and No. 2-seeded Arizona rallied to defeat No. 7 Saint Mary's Saturday and advance to the West Regional's Sweet Sixteen.

"This is just the beginning, " promised Law, who saluted the crowd as the last Wildcat off the court.

And Northwestern - with solid talent returning and a coach who made history this year - will look to do that.

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