NCAA

No. 1 Gonzaga beats No. 20 Saint Mary's 74-64

gonzaga-saint-marys.jpg
USATSI

No. 1 Gonzaga beats No. 20 Saint Mary's 74-64

MORAGA — Przemek Karnowski scored 19 points and No. 1 Gonzaga survived its toughest remaining obstacle to an undefeated regular season by beating No. 20 Saint Mary's 74-64 on Saturday night.

Johnathan Williams added 17 points and Nigel Williams-Goss had 14 to help the Bulldogs (26-0, 14-0) sweep the season series and win for the 11th time in the past 13 meetings against their fiercest conference rival.

The trip to Saint Mary's (22-3, 12-2) was viewed as the last true test for Gonzaga before the postseason begins. The Bulldogs were seeded fourth overall in preliminary rankings for the NCAA tournament released earlier Saturday and can ill afford a slip-up if they want to be assured of being a top seed in a region next month.

Jock Landale scored 24 points despite being limited by foul trouble to lead the way for the Gaels, who couldn't get enough perimeter help for their big man to stay with the Bulldogs. Saint Mary's made just 4 of 15 3-point attempts.

The scene at overflowing McKeon Pavilion was electric for the first visit by the No. 1 team since Bill Russell and San Francisco came to Moraga in 1955. ESPN's "GameDay" show was on hand and fans packed the aisles for the standing-room only crowd.

It was a first half of runs with the teams trading 9-0 spurts early before Gonzaga broke things open with a 17-2 stretch late in the half. The Gaels then got the final six points from Landale to cut the deficit to 40-31 at the break.

But Saint Mary's never got closer than seven points in the second half as Gonzaga answered every charge.

BIG PICTURE

Gonzaga: The Bulldogs should be heavy favorites the rest of the regular season with home games against San Francisco, Pacific and BYU and a trip to San Diego left. They have won all but three games this season by at least 10 points, including the last 18 as no one in the WCC seems up to challenging them this season.

Saint Mary's: After holding the previous two opponents to 26 percent shooting, the Gaels had a much tougher time slowing down the more talented Zags. Gonzaga made 10 straight shots at one point in the first half and shot 55.3 percent overall as Karnowski and Williams overpowered Saint Mary's inside to shoot a combined 16 for 22.

UP NEXT

Gonzaga: Host San Francisco on Thursday.

Saint Mary's: Host Loyola Marymount on Thursday.

Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe

barcelona-ap.jpg
AP

Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe

Men's basketball teams from Oregon State, Clemson and Arizona were staying at a hotel in Barcelona, Spain, near where a van drove into pedestrians on Thursday, but team officials said everyone was safe.

Spanish police have confirmed they are investigating the bloodshed in Barcelona's historic Las Ramblas district as a terror attack. The area is a popular summer tourist spot.

Tulane also was playing in Barcelona, but it was unclear if they were staying in the same hotel as the other teams.

Oregon State assistant coach Gregg Gottlieb posted to Facebook: "We are all luckily ok. Our hotel/restaurant is located right on Las Ramblas. This tragedy happened right in front of us as our team just sat down for pregame meal. Thoughts and prayers for all those that are were hurt."

The Beavers' game Thursday night was canceled. It was supposed to be the first of a five-game tour.

Clemson was scheduled to play Thursday night against a Spanish All-Star team.

"We've been in contact with our men's basketball program currently in Barcelona and the entire travel party is safe and secure. Their exhibition game for tonight has been cancelled and the team will return to Clemson as previously scheduled tomorrow morning. Our thoughts are with the people of Barcelona," the South Carolina school said in a statement.

Clemson coach Brad Brownell confirmed in a text to The Associated Press that the three teams were staying in the same hotel.

"We are fine. Thankful to be safe and together," Brownell wrote.

Tulane athletic director Troy Tannen confirmed via social media that the Green Wave players and staff were safe.

Replying to a Twitter inquiry from a Portland television about whether the team was OK, Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle responded: "Yes we are, happened directly in front of our hotel while we were having a team meal in the restaurant, so senseless and sad! All accounted4."

Oregon State said it has not yet determined the remaining schedule for the team, which was supposed to be on the exhibition tour until Aug. 25.

A spokesman for Arizona said the Wildcats have canceled their third and final exhibition of their tour and "are currently working on travel plans to return home."

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

cal-us.jpg
USATSI

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

Your education dollars are always at work, so it is with pride and bewilderment that we report that the University of California’s incoming class (2021, for those few who can get out in four years) marched to Memorial Stadium and formed the world’s largest human letter.
 
It was . . . wait for it . . . a “C.” A 7,196-person-strong “C.”
 
But the school, as it occasionally does, missed a golden opportunity to seize a golden opportunity. All they needed to do was have a quick whip-round, get $55,586.44 from each and every one of the captives . . . er, students, and they could have wiped out their entire athletics deficit in one night.
 
You see, while forming gigantic letters is always fun (or as the kids used to say when double negatives didn’t mean voting, never not fun), Cal is staring at quite possibly the bleakest future a major athletic university ever has. The athletic department, whose chief officer, Mike Williams, has just announced his intention to quit, is over $400 million in debt between construction costs, ambition, shrinking allegiance and the absence of a Phil Knight-level sugar daddy to buy the pain away.
 
And before you blame Williams, he inherited this indigestible planetoid from his predecessor, Sandy Barbour, who grew it from her predecessor, Steve Gladstone, and hastened it from . . . well, you get the drift. 
 
Cal’s been blowing through money it hasn’t been taking in for years upon years, didn’t realize the deficit-cutting benefits of the Pac-12 Network (because they largely don’t exist), and the day of reckoning looms closer and closer, especially now that new chancellor Carol Christ (no apparent relation) described the deficit as “corrosive” and has insisted that the athletic department have a balanced budget by 2020.
 
In short, the school may only be able to afford a lower-case “C” before too long. Maybe in comic sans.