SAN JOSE, California (AP) – Nigel Williams-Goss scored 23 points while orchestrating Gonzaga’s efficient offense, and the Zags finally shook their overrated tag by routing Xavier on Saturday to reach the Final Four for the first time.
Gonzaga (36-1) has been dogged by criticism through the years despite winning consistently, in part for playing in a weak conference but also for never making the Final Four of the NCAA basketball tournament.
On the cusp of history, the Zags took it head-on with a superb all-around game to give coach Mark Few the one missing piece of his resume.
Gonzaga found the range from the perimeter after struggling the first three NCAA games, making 12 of 24 from 3-point range. The defense, a soft spot in the past, shut down the underdog and 11th-seeded Musketeers (24-14) to win the West Region.
The Zags will face the winner between South Carolina and Florida in next week’s Final Four in Arizona.
OREGON 74, KANSAS 60
KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Tyler Dorsey poured in 27 points, Dillon Brooks added 17 and plucky Oregon ended Kansas’ romp through the NCAA Tournament with a victory that gave the Ducks their first Final Four trip in nearly 80 years.
Dylan Ennis added 12 points for the Ducks (33-5), who took the lead with 16 minutes left in the first half and never trailed again, giving coach Dana Altman his first trip to the national semifinals.
They’ll face the winner of Sunday’s game between North Carolina and Kentucky in Glendale, Arizona.
Player of the year front-runner Frank Mason III had 21 points in his final game for the Jayhawks (31-5), who had rolled to the Elite Eight by an average margin of 30 points. But their dream season ended with a thud just 40 minutes from campus on a night where very little went right.