Gonzaga dodges upset-minded UNC Greensboro, advances to second round

Silas Melson and the Gonzaga Bulldogs will open NCAA Tournament play Thursday in Boise

Even though Gonzaga Bulldogs men's basketball finished No. 6 in the AP Top 25, the Zags were still made a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

On the season, UNC Greensboro basketball averages 73.5 points, 37.1 rebounds and 14.1 assists per game.

Greensboro had a shot to tie following two missed free throws by Rui Hachimura, but Marvin Smith's three bounced out after coming painfully close.

"I think that's really unique now, in 2018", Miller, whose contract with the school was recently extended through 2022, said Wednesday.

Making the NCAA Tournament is basically a foregone conclusion for Gonzaga, but that doesn't make the day the Zags officially punch their ticket to the dance any less sweet. I think our defense grew up the last three weeks of the season.

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Xavier came up just short of the Final Four a year ago, losing to eventual finalist Gonzaga in the Elite Eight. In what was a clinical display of offense from both teams, Gonzaga's Johnathan Williams led the way with 39 points.

Francis Alonso and Demetrius Troy led the way for UNCG with 16 points apiece, but Alonso was called for an offensive foul just seconds after Norvell's key three pointer. It's nothing new for Gonzaga. "There were a lot of questions as we (went) out recruiting and things of that nature, (whether) we would have a job the next year".

Super-freshman Deandre Ayton heads into the tournament on a high after raising his game to a terrifying level in the Pac-12 tournament, finishing with 32 points and double-digit rebounds in each of Arizona's final two games. That's a formula for an upset, especially when UNC-Greensboro sophomore forward James Dickey (10 points) got going late.

UNC Greensboro almost pulled off the massive upset over last year's national runner-up Gonzaga, but fell short in a 68-64 defeat. If Gonzaga wins its opener, it will face No. 5 Ohio State or No. 12 South Dakota State (which I like to upset OSU because we all know at least one 12 will beat a 5).

Opening Betting Line: Gonzaga -12.5, per 5Dimes. Top-seeded and No. 25 Rhode Island looked like a lock to get into the field of 68 no matter what happened Sunday.

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