After all that talk about no 16 seed ever beating a 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, here we are at the half with Gonzaga leading Southern by a scant three points, 34-31.
So what's the story? Honestly, I watched the entire first half in person and I can't put my finger on it. Respectable 5-12 on 3-pointers. Only 3 turnovers. +3 on the rebound margin. 8-0 on points off of turnovers. Gonzaga's not playing a bad game. Southern is just flat-out making its shots (47.8% from the floor).
Is it time to panic? Of course not. This coaching staff is second to none at making halftime adjustments. They'll figure out a way to get the ball into Kelly Olynyk and get him some good looks. He's 2-of-7 from the field so far. This is exactly the kind of defense that Gonzaga will face throughout the Tournament. If they can't adjust against Southern, this is going to be a short trip. But the smart money's on Gonzaga.
BLOG UPDATE FROM SAM: In each of the last three Tournaments I've gone to, finding Gonzaga fans in the stands has been like searching for a needle in a haystack. Not this year. I've seen more Zag fans here than I've ever seen before. Great to see this support.
Now on to business. I'm watching Pitt take on WSU right now. To clarify, that's Wichita State, not Washington State. Sorry to get your hopes up. I find myself assuming that Gonzaga will be playing one of these teams on Saturday. Of course, Gonzaga still has its own game to worry about today.
We ASSUME the Zags will have no problem with Southern, but in the back of my mind there's this irrational fear that GU will be the 1 seed ever to lose to a 16 seed. I'm also thinking that if there's a year a 16 is going to advance, this is it. Murray State took #1 Michigan State into overtime in 1990, so we know it's possible.
Wow, a player just dove into press row! Time to get back to work.
Follow me on Twitter @SWXSamAdams for regular updates and pics. I'm posting under #zagup and #drive4title Oh, and GO ZAGS!
PREVIOUS BLOG UPDATE FROM SAM:
SAM ADAMS IN SALT LAKE: This is my fourth time covering the NCAA Tournament with Gonzaga, but there's something different about this year's tourney. During my first trip to Buffalo, the guys from Syracuse walked around the place like they owned it. And it wasn't necessarily just the players. It was also the Syracuse fans and the media.
Now, here we are in Salt Lake, covering the Sports Illustrated cover boys... the #1 team in the country. It's really funny seeing everyone gawk at Gonzaga -- our little team from Spokane -- the same way we all gawked at Syracuse in New York. The Bulldogs are now Big Dogs.
The thing that's amazing is how well the players are handling it. They are still the same guys we covered at the start of the season. Kelly Olynyk may very well be the National Player of the Year (and deservedly so) but it's astonishing how he's still the same kid.
After a long line of interviews in the locker room, he had one more interview to get through with me, and he was truly happy to do it. So are Kevin Pangos and Elias Harris, and all the rest of the Zags. There are superstar players on this team, but no superstar personalities.
It's also funny having all the other reporters coming up, asking us about our team. "How do you pronounce Olynyk?" "Are they really this good?" Answers: Oh-LINN-ick and yes.
One interesting thing was talking to fans up in the stands while they were watching practice. One Gonzaga fan remarked how he missed the Cinderella days. He's glad they're number one, but he also liked being the underdog. Such is the price of fame and a great team. I think that's a price all Gonzaga fans are willing to pay.
You can follow me on twitter @SWXSamAdams
I'm working on some fun stories and I'll be posting pics and updates on my account. Go Zags!
Saturday, May 25 2013 3:07 PM EDT2013-05-25 19:07:39 GMT
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Protests against seed giant Monsanto are getting under way across the U.S. and in dozens of other countries.>>
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Protests against seed giant Monsanto are getting under way across the U.S. and in dozens of other countries. "March Against Monsanto" organizers say they're calling attention to the dangers posed by genetically modified food and the companies that produce it. Protests are planned in more than 250 cities Saturday.>>
Saturday, May 25 2013 3:06 PM EDT2013-05-25 19:06:36 GMT
KHQ.COM - 1. Make a batch of cookie dough, and add a half a bag of mini marshmallows inside. 2. Lay graham cracker squares on a cookie sheet (spray with Pam first)>>
KHQ.COM - 1. Make a batch of cookie dough, and add a half a bag of mini marshmallows inside. 2. Lay graham cracker squares on a cookie sheet (spray with Pam first) 3. Put a ball of cookie dough on each graham cracker. 4. Put in oven set at 350.>>
Saturday, May 25 2013 2:09 PM EDT2013-05-25 18:09:23 GMT
MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – The trucker was hauling a load of drilling equipment when his load bumped against the steel framework over an Interstate 5 bridge. >>
MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – The trucker was hauling a load of drilling equipment when his load bumped against the steel framework over an Interstate 5 bridge. He looked in his rearview mirror and watched in horror as the span collapsed into the water behind him. Two vehicles fell into the icy Skagit River.>>
Saturday, May 25 2013 2:04 PM EDT2013-05-25 18:04:53 GMT
MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) - The Washington Transportation Department says it has changed the detour routes around the collapsed Skagit River bridge in Mount Vernon.>>
MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) - The Washington Transportation Department says it has changed the detour routes around the collapsed Skagit River bridge in Mount Vernon. There are three options northbound and two options southbound.>>
Saturday, May 25 2013 1:46 PM EDT2013-05-25 17:46:57 GMT
Saturday: Once again…a showery wave rotates through E WA & ID…mostly cloudy with showers building during Mid-morning into the afternoon… Low/High 41°/63°>>
Saturday: Once again…a showery wave rotates through E WA & ID…mostly cloudy with showers building during Mid-morning into the afternoon…The risk of thunder should be confined to the mountains... Low/High 41°/63° TRACK LIVE WEATHER RADAR USING HD DOPPLER 6i INSIDE>>>>>
Saturday, May 25 2013 1:46 PM EDT2013-05-25 17:46:43 GMT
(AP) - A former minor leaguer says cheating is alive and well in professional baseball.>>
(AP) - A former minor leaguer says cheating is alive and well in professional baseball. In an interview with The Associated Press, Garrett Broshuis says he fooled around with a spitball a few years ago, but couldn't bring himself to use the illegal pitch in a game.>>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:54 PM EDT2013-05-25 01:54:46 GMT
It's almost Memorial Day weekend, and for fishing enthusiasts, this is the perfect chance to spend some extra time out on the water.>>
It's almost Memorial Day weekend, and for fishing enthusiasts, this is the perfect chance to spend some extra time out on the water. Our very own fishing expert, Dave Law, spent the week looking for some of the best spots. This week he highlights Deer Lake.>>
Friday, May 24 2013 12:26 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:26:12 GMT
BELLEVUE, Wash. (AP) - The AAA auto club reports the average price of a gallon of gasoline in Washington is $4, heading into the Memorial Day weekend.>>
BELLEVUE, Wash. (AP) - The AAA auto club reports the average price of a gallon of gasoline in Washington is $4, heading into the Memorial Day weekend. That's up 2 cents in a week and 34 cents in a month. It's 35 cents higher than the national average and 24 cents higher than the price of gasoline in Washington a year ago.>>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:53 PM EDT2013-05-25 01:53:47 GMT
As part of the McEuen Park Reconstruction Project, improvements to Third Street will begin at 9:00 p.m. on Monday evening, May 27th.>>
As part of the McEuen Park Reconstruction Project, improvements to Third Street will begin at 9:00 p.m. on Monday evening, May 27th, with the installation of traffic signage and closing of Sherman Avenue from 2nd Street to 4th Street.>>
Monday, May 13 2013 1:15 AM EDT2013-05-13 05:15:33 GMT
Six Gonzaga University baseball players spent the morning receiving their diplomasonly to battle in the series finale against Appalachian State University.>>
Six Gonzaga University baseball players spent the morning at the Spokane Arena receiving their diplomas at the university's graduation ceremony only to battle in the series finale against Appalachian State University in the afternoon.>>