Gonzaga and Oregon Stage Epic Regional Finale in Mythical March Madness
It was only appropriate that two teams that are from the great Northwest were left to battle for a trip to Kansas City's Municipal Auditorium and the Mythical March Madness Final Four. Gonzaga is loaded and Mark Few is a great coach, while Oregon has a slight home court advantage of having practiced here and being able to sleep in their own beds. The Ducks are talented too and Dana Altman is an outstanding coach.
Publisher's Note: This is our go at Mythical March Madness and now entering the fourth round. The tournament and results are determined using all-time odds for each seed in NCAA Division I Men's Tournament history for advancement in each round. The roll of dice with rolls of six or below representing the higher-seeded team and rolls of seven or greater representing the lower-seeded team determine the results. If the game is written up as close then the roll of the dice went to the eighth, ninth, or tenth roll. If it is written up as a blowout then it was decided with few rolls needed. This is the Saturday action moving the tournament from "Elite Eight" to "Final Four." The first two teams punch their ticket.
No. 1 - Gonzaga 73 No. 3 - Oregon 69: Gonzaga wins the Regional and is now in the Mythical March Madness Final Four
This reminded you of a conference game in the sense that it was a grinder, The first half, nerves combined with intense man defense kept both teams point totals down as neither team was in double figures at the third media time out as Gonzaga led 9-8. It loosened up a little and at halftime courtesy of a three-pointer at the buzzer by freshman guard Addison Patterson, Oregon led 24-23. The 6-6 Canadian was not the planned player to ahve the ball right before the buzzer sounded, but he was cool in taking the shot from the deep wing.
Adjustments at halftime and maybe a different attitude by both teams made the second half much more offensive oriented. Despite being a tad bit undersized compared to the Gonzaga front line, Chris Duarte and Shakur Juiston of Oregon had done a nice job defending Filip Petrusev, Corey Kispert, and Killian Tillie inside.
In the second half, Few instructed Ryan Wooldridge and Admon Gilder to bring the offense outside more and Few injected freshman big man Drew Timme from Richardson Pearce High School in Texas to use his clean slate of no personal fouls as a weapon to get more physical with Oregon. It worked as Timme had 17 of the 50 second half points for the Bulldogs and Wooldridge scored 18 of his 22 points for the game in the second half.
With 50 seconds left and Gonzaga clinging to a 67-66 lead, Timme got inside and laid the ball in and drew a foul from Duarte, his fifth knocking him out of the game. The three point play made it 70-66 and put Gonzaga in a secure position to win.
The Zags are now 35-2 heading to KC to play Dayton and National Player of the Year in Obi Toppin in the national semifinal, while Oregon retires for the season at 27-8.