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Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

NCAA issues statement on non-goaltending call in Gonzaga-Northwestern game

NCAA issues statement on non-goaltending call in Gonzaga-Northwestern game

Chris Collins was right. None of us will. In my heart, do I think if we get that call and cut it to three, we have a great chance to win?

And as the moderator read the NCAA's statement about the missed call, Collins sat at the podium and allowed his face to tell his version of the story.

"It would have been a three-point game".

"It makes me feel great", he said to laughter.

The rally ended on a blocked shot that not only cost Northwestern two points, but it also led to a technical foul on head coach Chris Collins.

Gonzaga dominated the first half 38-20, but NU played inspired basketball over the final 20 minutes, outscoring Gonzaga 53-41 and almost getting within striking distance of the lead before faltering late. But to say that sequence altered the outcome diminishes the way Gonzaga regained its composure. But it was clear that Collins had stuck his hand up through the rim, which is basket interference. "But it's an honest mistake". Referees are human beings, they're here for a reason. Then it comes down to, how can they guard our posts and if they bring a double how do we handle that.

Can Collins live with his outburst?

"My friends have been texting me that my hand was in the rim, but I'm going to take that as a block", he said.

You might be thinking, "I'm not suer it's legal to stick your arm through the rim to block a shot".

After the game, Gonzaga center Collins was still unclear about what, exactly, happened. With McIntosh and Scottie Lindsey stifled in their ability to score and create open looks on the perimeter, Law was rendered a non-factor without the completed package to be a primary option offensively. All of them can hold them high.

Six minutes remained and Gonzaga's 22-point lead in the first half had melted to seven. That being said I highly doubt they meet up. "A lot of teams would have rolled over at halftime".

That's not going to help Northwestern players or their fans sleep on Saturday night. If McIntosh penetrated past his man, he ran into impenetrable 7-foot-1, 300-pound Przemek Karnowski, the 23-year-old Polish punisher.

"We don't think of anything as pressure", Gonzaga's Nigel Williams-Goss said.

In the first half, Gonzaga's defense showed why it's now ranked #1 in KenPom's adjusted defensive efficiency ratings. You win, in Northwestern's case, it's probably the best thing they've done in the history of the school.

Zach Collins said he did not entirely remember which way the play swung in the moment.

The Zags jumped on Northwestern early on both ends of the floor. After a Lumpkin steal and dunk cut the lead to 15 with 16:01 left, the Wildcats bumped chests and believed a comeback was possible. But Northwestern wasn't done making noise.

But the technical froze Northwestern's momentum and the Bulldogs stayed ahead by at least five points and as much as 10 the rest of the way. With the hoop, NU would have trailed by three. As teams are eliminated from the bracket, their emotional fans may remain relevant, just as the "Crying Northwestern Kid" meme became March Madness's favorite fan over the weekend.

In the city DePaul made the Final Four in 1979 and Michael Jordan made his last shot as Bull in 1998, another Chicago-area basketball team simply fell just short.

Northwestern's season ends at 24-12. After his meltdown that followed an official call that went against the Wildcats, he made his way on CBS more than Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, the actress whose son Charlie Hall is a member of the Northwestern team.

"This is just the beginning, " promised Law, who saluted the crowd as the last Wildcat off the court.

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