The real issue was the officiating turnaround in the second half. Willie acknowledged the sentiment with a hug.
Fast forward two tourneys later, in the second half of a second-round game between Northwestern and Gonzaga, with the former chipping away at an unlikely comeback against the 1-seed. The team nor the fans hadn’t been here before and they soaked up every second of it, filling Vivint Arena with purple during the first and second round.
The first half was all Gonzaga, and the Zags took a 38-20 lead into halftime.
After all of the pomp and circumstance of their first ever NCAA tournament game on Thursday, things will only be getting tougher for Northwestern on Saturday afternoon as the Wildcats take on top-seeded Gonzaga in Salt Lake City.
Northwestern has become the darlings in their first-ever NCAA Tournament, and while Julia Louis-Dreyfus has grabbed most of the headlines – her son is a walk-on on the team – she has been trumped by one young fan whose emotional roller coaster summed up their tournament run.
One player asked where his locker name tag was to ensure he didn’t leave without it.
However, the statement is likely of little consolation to the Northwestern team. “… And at the end of the day, we just competed”.
Vic Law attempts a jumper.
“I didn’t really think about what happened here [in 2013]”, Karnowski said. It was endearing and adorable, and the internet relentlessly repurposed it to the point where Chalifoux later felt the need to say, “My friends and family supported me through it all”.
Bernard played pick-up ball and spent social time with numerous Seminoles a year ago when he played at Florida A&M, which is also in Tallahassee. This is such a special moment.
It was hard not rooting for the Wildcats. The Wildcats never drew closer than five points the rest of the way.
“We’ve just got to come into practice today, work on free throws, work on executing, less turnovers, and get the game plan down for Xavier”, FSU guard Dwayne Bacon said.
Few said South Dakota State looked better in person than it did on film – and after a grinder of a win, he’s certainly more familiar with Daum and the Jackrabbits than members of the NCAA selection committee whose job it was to seed them.
“… The way we fought was great, and we fought to the very end”.
Instead, play was allowed to continue on, and Northwestern head coach Chris Collins ran onto the court furious about the no-call.
That missed call, which may or may not have eventually turned the outcome of this game and been the difference between signed placards for Northwestern and a trip to the Sweet 16, was a difference-maker in the game.
ABOUT GONZAGA (33-1): The Bulldogs scored under 70 points for just the fourth time all season in their first-round game as they shot 39.7 percent – including 8-of-30 from 3-point range – and were 8-of-14 from the free-throw line.
Collins will get a pass because the call was so egregiously bad.
“They made the calls”.