Gonzaga continued to roll behind a career-high 30 points and 13 rebounds from Drew Timme as the top-seeded Bulldogs beat No. 8 seed Oklahoma 87-71 on Monday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Gonzaga (28-0) won its 32nd straight game dating to last season, passing its first real test of the NCAAs in the Bulldogs’ quest to be the first undefeated champion since Indiana 45 years ago.
The Bulldogs easily dispatched Norfolk State in the first round, but the Sooners were the first power conference opponent for Gonzaga since it embarrassed Virginia in late December.
It didn’t matter all that much. Oklahoma became the 25th straight team the Bulldogs beat by double digits — although the Sooners fought valiantly to keep it from becoming a blowout.
The Zags advanced to their sixth straight Sweet 16 and will next face Creighton in the West Region.
Austin Reaves scored 27 points for Oklahoma (16-11).
Timme, sporting a handlebar mustache, was 9 of 12 shooting and 12 of 14 at the free-throw line. Corey Kispert and Jalen Suggs added 16 points each for Gonzaga.
CREIGHTON 72, OHIO 58
Marcus Zegarowski scored 20 points to help Creighton beat Ohio, securing the program’s first trip to the round of 16 in 47 years.
Damien Jefferson added 15 points for the fifth-seeded Bluejays (22-8). They had a cold opening few minutes before the offense — and Zegarowski in particular — got rolling with a strong performance that built a double-digit lead by halftime against an upstart trying to spring a second straight tournament upset.
The last time Creighton made it to the regional semifinals, it was 1974 and the tournament field had 25 teams.
Zegarowski finished 7 for 16 from the field with four 3-pointers.
Dwight Wilson III scored 12 points to lead Ohio (17-8), the Mid-American Conference champion. The 13th-seeded Bobcats opened the tournament by bouncing 2019 champion Virginia on Saturday night.
OREGON 95, IOWA 80
Chris Duarte scored 23 points and Oregon showed no signs of rust after a long layoff, beating No. 2 seed Iowa to reach the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in the past five NCAA Tournaments.
The seventh-seeded Ducks (21-6) were put in an unprecedented spot, advancing to the West Region’s second round without playing a game. Virginia Commonwealth’s multiple positive COVID-19 tests took care of that, leaving Oregon with a nine-day break since losing in the Pac-12 Tournament title game.
Oregon’s offense hummed like it was fresh off the line once the ball went up.
The Ducks shot 56% and hit 11 3-pointers. LJ Figueroa made five 3s while scoring 21 points and Will Richardson added 19 points.
The Hawkeyes (22-9) fell one game short of the Sweet 16 for the fourth time under Fran McCaffrey. Luka Garza played like a two-time All-American, capping his stellar college career with 36 points and nine rebounds. Joe Wieskamp added 17 points.