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NCAA Tournament: West Region roundup

Gonzagas+Nigel+Williams-Goss+jumps+home+a+slam+dunks+during+the+Gonzaga-Northwestern+game+on+Saturday%2C+March+18.
Simon Asher
Gonzaga’s Nigel Williams-Goss jumps home a slam dunks during the Gonzaga-Northwestern game on Saturday, March 18.

West Region wrap-up

SALT LAKE CITY — The NCAA Tournament’s West Region is all wrapped up after Arizona men’s basketball defeated Saint Mary’s in Saturday’s second round game in Salt Lake City. Here is a summary of how other teams fared as we look ahead to San Jose.

WVU vs. ND

In Buffalo, the No. 4 seed West Virginia Mountaineers pressed the No. 5 seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish into oblivion, winning 83-71. Jevon Carter led the way for the Mountaineers with 24 and Daxter Miles Jr. added 18. The win moves WVU into the sweet sixteen in San Jose next week.

The Mountaineers were able to force 16 Notre Dame turnovers which led to 15 Mountaineer points and held the Irish to just 40 percent shooting in the game. They will face No. 1 seed Gonzaga on Thursday.

The Mountaineers will face Gonzaga on Thursday in San Jose.

Gonzaga vs. Northwestern

The darlings of the tournament thus far, the Northwestern Wildcats, were simply overmatched Saturday from the get go against No. 1 seed Gonzaga. The Bulldogs throttled the Wildcats, jumping out to a 32-12 lead and never looked back. However, a spirited rally almost met the Bulldogs demise as the Wildcats were able to cut the deficit to four before falling 79-73.

Junior guard Nigel Williams-Goss led the Bulldogs with his play, creating havoc on both ends and single handedly equalling the output of Northwestern at the three minute mark of the first half with 12 points. Williams-Goss along with Jordan Mathews led the Bulldogs with 34 points.

With the Bulldogs struggling to hang on to what once was a 22-point lead, Gonzaga center Zach Collins stuck his hand through the Northwestern rim and goaltended a Wildcat shot. It wasn’t called and Northwestern head coach Chris Collins lost control, receiving a technical in the process. The change in momentum was ultimately what sealed the Wildcats fate, an unfortunate set of circumstances that ended Northwestern’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament.

The Bulldogs will face West Virginia Thursday in San Jose.

Xavier vs. Florida State

Sean Miller’s former program will once again see its former boss next week as the Xavier Musketeers were able to embarrass the Florida State Seminoles, 91-65.

The Musketeers shot 11-of-17 from three to route the Seminoles, the No. 3 seed in the region. Xavier came into the tournament on the bubble, needing some key wins down the stretch to preserve a spot in this year’s tourney. They have taken advantage of the opportunity and then some, displaying arguably the best performance of any team so far through March Madness.

The Musketeers were led by Trevon Bluiett and his 29 points as they travel to San Jose next for an opportunity at the Elite Eight.

Xavier will face Arizona Thursday in San Jose.


Follow Saul Bookman on Twitter.


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