Nine years ago, UCLA and Gonzaga met in the Sweet 16. At the end, Zags star Adam Morrison was crying at center court. The Bruins and Bulldogs will meet again in Houston on Friday.
One of the most iconic moments in NCAA tournament history happened nearly exactly nine years ago, when Gonzaga and UCLA met in the Sweet 16.
The Zags had the nation's leading scorer, forward Adam Morrison. The Bruins had a roster full of future NBA players—Arron Afflalo, Jordan Farmar, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Ryan Hollins and others—but the Bulldogs led by as many as 17 in the first half.
Gonzaga collapsed down the stretch, though, and Morrison was left sobbing at midcourt.
Gonzaga scored just two points in the final 5:13, a pair of free throws by Morrison.
It ended up being Morrison's final college game. He passed up his final year of eligibility to enter the NBA draft and was taken third by the Charlotte Bobcats. He averaged 11.8 points per game as a rookie but suffered a torn ACL during a preseason game the next year. He played sparingly in three more NBA seasons, followed by two years in Europe.
Morrison returned to Gonzaga in 2013 to finish his degree and serve as a student assistant with the basketball team. He's an assistant video coordinator this season.
UCLA and Gonzaga meet again in the Sweet 16 on Friday. Look for Morrison behind the Zags' bench. He might be tough to recognize, though, since he's shaved that terrible mustache.
- Dan Gartland