5:40 PM ET, March 22, 2003
Jon M. Huntsman Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Those ever-lovin' Zags almost did it again, this time in a double-overtime thriller against top-seeded Arizona.
Rick Anderson and Arizona celebrated winning by the slimmest of margins Saturday.
|Six Degrees of Zags|
The past four NCAA champions have ties to Gonzaga during their trips to the title:
1999: Gonzaga lost to Connecticut in Sweet 16; UConn wins national championship.
2000: Gonzaga lost to Purdue in Sweet 16; Boilermakers lost to Wisconsin, which reached the Final Four, where Badgers lost to eventual champion Michigan Sate.
2001: Gonzaga reaches Sweet 16, where it lost to Michigan State, which reached Final Four, where it lost to Arizona, which lost to Duke in title game.
2002: Gonzaga lost to Wyoming in first round; Cowboys lost to Arizona, which lost to Oklahoma, which reached Final Four; Sooners lost to Indiana, which lost to Maryland in title game.
2003: Gonzaga reaches second round, loses to Arizona, which ...
Stoudamire's floater in the lane with 2:03 left in the second overtime were the game's final points. Gonzaga (24-9) had numerous chances to take the lead but failed."That's the greatest game I ever played in,'' Arizona's Rick Anderson said. "I could see it in their eyes. Everybody on the court wanted to win.'' Tony Skinner, whose career-high 25 points included 5-of-11 shooting on 3-pointers, missed an open 3 with 4 seconds to play for the Zags. Blake Stepp, who scored 19 of his 25 points after halftime, missed a 5-foot follow-up bank shot just before the buzzer sounded. "It just didn't go in for me,'' Stepp said. "That's probably the hardest game I've been a part of in terms of two teams fighting it out.'' The Bulldogs collapsed to the floor in disappointment, and Arizona (27-3) advanced to the West Regional semifinals against Notre Dame, a winner over Illinois on Saturday. All five Wildcats starters reached double figures. Gardner scored 22. Channing Frye had 22 points and 12 rebounds, and played the final five minutes and both overtimes with four fouls. Anderson had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Luke Walton 16 points, nine assists, two blocked shots and three steals. His basket with 4.1 seconds to go forced the second overtime. With starters Ronny Turiaf, who scored 16, and Winston Brooks fouled out, Gonzaga's offense finally wilted. The Bulldogs went scoreless the last 2:10 after Skinner's two free throws put them ahead 95-94. "If you did not care who won, it was a great college basketball game,'' Arizona coach Lute Olson said. "That was not a game for people who weren't willing to lay it out on the floor.'' Stoudamire's 3-pointer put Arizona up 94-93 before Skinner's free throws. "My teammates just showed confidence in me, and forgot all about the earlier shots,'' Stoudamire said. "They said we needed some big shots, and I hit 'em.'' Arizona had the ball with 20 seconds to go, but lost it out of bounds. One official signaled possession to the Wildcats, but another overruled him and gave Gonzaga its last shots. Turiaf, who fouled out with 2:16 left in regulation, could only watch.
|Dick Vitale: WOW! When you talk about emotion, passion, and a game that defines what March Madness is about, this is the game you talk about. The energy and enthusiasm were incredible. More|
|» Mar 22, 2003||@ARIZ 96, GONZ 95||Recap|