GCU eliminated from March Madness tournament in 82-70 loss to Gonzaga

Grand Canyon guard Josh Baker, left, pulls in the ball as Gonzaga forward Anton Watson defends...
Grand Canyon guard Josh Baker, left, pulls in the ball as Gonzaga forward Anton Watson defends in the second half of a first-round college basketball game in the men's NCAA Tournament, Friday, March 17, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/John Leyba)(John Leyba | AP)
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 6:38 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 17, 2023 at 6:44 PM MST
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DENVER, CO (3TV/CBS 5/AP) -- Arizona teams aren’t faring well in the NCAA March Madness tournament this year. GCU became the second Arizona school knocked out of the tournament, losing to three-seed Gonzaga 82-70 on Friday afternoon. Arizona State remains the lone wolf in the tournament for the state, but that could change as the Sun Devils face off against TCU at 7 p.m.

Zags senior Drew Timme brought his sweatband and his moustache back to March Madness and finished with 21 points, six rebounds and three blocks for the third-seeded Bulldogs (29-5), who haven’t lost a first-round game in the tournament since 2008. Julian Strawther finished with a double-double, putting up 28 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs. Next up for Gonzaga is a game Sunday against the winner of a later West Region contest between TCU and Arizona State.

Like almost every Zag outside of Strawther, Timme was bottled up and frustrated in the first half, then came out of halftime and looked like a different player. After trailing by as many as seven, Timme’s three-point play gave Gonzaga a 48-40 lead early in the second half.

Ray Harrison answered with a driving layup on the next possession. After that, Gonzaga went on a 16-0 run during which the 14th-seeded Lopes (24-12), champions of the Western Athletic Conference, missed 11 straight shots and fell behind by as many as 22.

Earlier this week, the Lopes were dealing with an equipment mishap. The team arrived in Denver to find that their basketball gear wasn’t loaded onto the plane, leaving them without practice gear and equipment. Some players had to buy shoes at a nearby Nike store, while Regis University loaned some gear to the team for their practice. The team was covered thankfully after the gear was delivered on Wednesday night.