No. 11 Gonzaga routs No. 3 Utah to advance to the Sweet 16 of the 2016 NCAA tournament

By Madison Hartman
March 19, 2016

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What Happened

Gonzaga dominated the first half and never looked back, led by Domantas Sabonis (19 points, 10 rebounds) and Kyle Wiltjer (17 points). Wiltjer went 3 of 4 from beyond the arc and Sabonis dominated the boards on both ends of the court to finish with a double double. Eric McClellan got hot in the final six minutes of the first half when he hit two threes and finished with a game-high 22 points.

Utah’s Jakob Poeltl had only five points and two rebounds in the first 20 minutes, spending much of the time on the bench after two early fouls. Kyle Kuzma, who averages just 10 points per game, kept the Utes in the game with three three-pointers of his own and finished with a team-high 15 points. Nine Utah turnovers led to 15 points for the Zags and a 44–29 lead heading into the locker room. In the second half the Bulldogs quickly pushed the lead to 20, shooting an astounding 60% from the floor. Utah, meanwhile, never found its footing, turning the ball over a total of 13 times. SI All-America Poeltl went scoreless in the second half.

Why It Matters

Never underestimate the Zags in March. As Gonzaga moves on to face another high seed, it has a real shot at going even deeper in the tournament, and with monster nights from Wiltjer, Sabonis and McClellen, the Bulldogs look unstoppable.

What’s Next

The Zags will face the winner of No. 10 Syracuse vs. No. 15 Middle Tennessee on Friday in Chicago.

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