Halftime Observations - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

UPDATE: Sam Adams Blogging From Salt Lake City

HALFTIME UPDATE FROM SAM
 
So that just happened.
 
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!
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