In a tournament full of upsets, No. 1 Gonzaga avoided disaster with an 87-71 win over No. 8 Oklahoma.
Three top-two seeds have already been eliminated early in the 2021 NCAA men's basketball tournament, but Drew Timme scored a career-high 30 to help the No. 1 overall seed advance to the second weekend.
Oklahoma provided significant resistance throughout the game, jumping out to a surprising eight-point lead early in the first half. The Bulldogs eventually took control and built a 12-point halftime lead that grew to 19, although the underdogs never went away.
Austin Reaves made numerous tough shots on his way to 27 points, cutting the deficit to single digits with under two minutes remaining.
Gonzaga simply had too much firepower and used elite free-throw shooting (23-of-26) to hold on and eventually pull away Monday at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Gonzaga improved to a perfect 28-0 on the season while reaching the Sweet 16 for the sixth straight tournament.
Drew Timme, F, GONZ: 30 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists
Corey Kispert, F, GONZ: 16 points, 3 rebounds
Jalen Suggs, G, GONZ: 16 points, 3 assists, 3 steals
Austin Reaves, G, OKLA: 27 points, 2 assists, 12-17 FG
Alondes Williams, G, OKLA: 15 points, 2 rebounds
Kur Kuath, F, OKLA: 2 points, 4 assists, 5 blocks
Drew Timme Leads Another High-Scoring Attack for Gonzaga
Gonzaga is so difficult to defend because there are too many players who can beat you.
Drew Timme had just 10 points in Round 1 but scored 30 Monday on 9-of-12 from the field. The big man was unguardable at times in the post:
Jalen Suggs had 16 points after tallying just six points in the win over Norfolk State, calmly running the show with key plays on both ends.
Corey Kispert was held in check early but still finished with 16 points.
When the team wasn't dominating in the half court, it was turning defense into easy buckets on offense:
The Bulldogs didn't do anything flashy in the first half but quietly built the lead to double digits, even with Oklahoma playing at a high level:
The second half was more of the same. The Sooners made key shots and seemingly did everything they could to win yet couldn't cut the margin enough for a comeback.
While the matchups will only get tougher in later rounds, the Bulldogs will clearly be a difficult team to stop in this tournament.
Austin Reaves Show Not Enough for Oklahoma
You want your senior leader to step up in big games, and Austin Reaves did just that for Oklahoma.
The guard played with no fear on his way to 27 points as he kept the Sooners in the game.
Those watching along couldn't help but be impressed with the talent and effort on display from the Wichita State transfer:
The challenge for Oklahoma was finding more production offensively, especially with second-leading scorer De'Vion Harmon unavailable due to NCAA protocols.
Kur Kuath made a huge impact defensively with five blocks.
Alondes Williams had some big moments in the second half, but it wasn't enough to keep up with the best team in college basketball.
Creighton and Ohio will now battle for the chance to face Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 on Sunday.