Drew Timme recorded 28 points and eight rebounds and No. 3 Gonzaga reached the Sweet 16 for the eighth consecutive NCAA Tournament by posting an 84-81 victory over No. 6 TCU on Sunday night in West Region play at Denver.
Rasir Bolton added 17 points for the Bulldogs (30-5), who will face second-seeded UCLA (31-5) on Thursday in Las Vegas. Malachi Smith scored 11 points and Julian Strawther had 10 points and nine rebounds for Gonzaga.
Mike Miles Jr. scored 24 points for the Horned Frogs (22-13). Damion Baugh registered 15 points and eight rebounds and Emanuel Miller scored 14 points.
Gonzaga made 44.8 percent of its field-goal attempts and was 8 of 25 from 3-point range. Anton Watson had 12 rebounds and three steals.
The Horned Frogs shot 44.8 percent from the field, including 9 of 25 from behind the arc.
Baugh’s layup capped a 6-0 run and pulled the Horned Frogs within 73-70 with 2:11 remaining. Timme’s layup gave Gonzaga a five-point edge with 1:43 remaining while Strawther and Watson each split two free throws to make it 77-70 with 1:01 left.
JaKobe Coles drained a 3-pointer with 45.6 seconds left to cut the TCU deficit to four. Bolton made two free throws with 42.5 seconds left and Timme split two free throws with 32.4 seconds remaining to give the Zags a seven-point lead as they closed it out to post their eighth 30-win campaign in the past 11 seasons.
“We cannot be the team that (messes) this one up,” Timme said of the Sweet 16 winning streak. “It’s just a testament to Coach (Mark Few) and the program he had. We got some dogs over here and we fight no matter what happens.”
Gonzaga trailed most of the first half but showed life early in the second when Bolton made two 3-pointers and Strawther hit one during a 9-2 push that gave the Bulldogs a 46-45 lead with 15:52 remaining.
TCU answered with a 10-4 push — Miles scored eight of the points — to take a 55-50 advantage with 12:14 left.
Gonzaga then exploded with 13 consecutive points. Bolton converted a three-point play and Smith and Timme knocked down 3-pointers as the Bulldogs took a 63-55 lead with 8:38 remaining.
The Horned Frogs rattled off the next six points, with Miller’s basket pulling them within two with 7:20 left.
Smith nailed a straightaway 3-pointer with 6:43 left and Timme scored on a putback with 4:52 left to give Gonzaga a 68-61 lead.
Watson’s dunk gave the Zags a 73-64 lead with 3:27 left.
Miles had 10 first-half points as TCU led 38-33 at the break. Timme scored 11 in the half for Gonzaga.
TCU led 25-15 on two free throws by Miles with 7:30 left. The Bulldogs later were within 33-31 after a three-point play by Watson with 2:13 left.
–Field Level Media