Playing with a burst of energy from the outset, North Dakota State jumped out to a 9-4 lead over Gonzaga in the first two minutes … and we thought maybe this was going to be the upset we’ve been waiting for all day. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Gonzaga returned to being the Gonzaga we’ve seen all year and did just enough to hold on for a 86-76 victory, although NDSU never really went away in a valiant effort.
Kentucky and Virginia, the top two teams in the nation, have gotten it done this season by staying consistent on defense. No. 3 Gonzaga is no slouch on defense, but it is better known for its offensive prowess. While it’s all but certain that the Bulldogs will reach their 17th-consecutive NCAA Tournament, what makes this West Coast team seem especially strong this season?