The first of the two final Elite Eight games is nearly underway.
Six-seed USC will look to continue its incredible run through the tournament with a win over the undefeated, top-seeded Zags. The Trojans have averaged an incredible margin of victory of 21.3 points three games through the tournament, but they will face the toughest challenge yet in Mark Few’s Gonzaga team.
The Bulldogs this tournament have been led by an incredible trio in Drew Timme (20.7 points, 8.3 rebounds per game), Jalen Suggs (10.3 points per game) and Corey Kispert (17 points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal per game).
Gonzaga approaches unstoppable when one or more of them get hot, but will they have trouble taking on the force that is freshman 7-0 forward Evan Mobley? He has averaged a double-double through March Madness and was two rebounds shy against Oregon of his third straight of March Madness. Look for Timme to be his primary defender.
Sporting News is tracking live scoring updates and highlights from Gonzaga vs. USC in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Follow for complete results from the Elite Eight game.
Gonzaga vs. USC score
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Gonzaga vs. USC live updates, highlights from Elite Eight
All times ET
8:31 p.m.: A couple thunderous dunks from Timme and Ayayi show the second half is just a formality. It’s 56-34 Zags with 17:44 left in regulation.
8:30 p.m.: And that’s quickly followed by a Kispert 3 to make it 52-32 Zags.
8:28 p.m.: Gonzaga misses on its first possession and Evan Mobley gets a dunk on the other end to make it 49-32 Gonzaga.
First Half: Gonzaga 49, USC 30
8:12 p.m.: And, from the TBS telecast: Smith is stable, still light-headed, but won’t be taken to the hospital.
8:08 p.m.: Some first-half stats:
Field goals: Gonzaga 20 for 37 (54.1 percent); USC 11 for 31 (35.5 percent)3-pointers: Gonzaga 2 for 8 (25 percent); USC 3 for 10 (30 percent)Free throws: Gonzaga 7 for 9 (77.8 percent); USC 5 for 6 (83.3 percent)Rebounds: Gonzaga 21; USC 14Assists: Gonzaga 13; USC 5Steals: Gonzaga 6; USC 0Blocks: Gonzaga 2; USC 0Turnovers: Gonzaga 1; USC 7Largest lead: Gonzaga 21; USC 0
And, here’s a look at Timme, who has absolutely dominated this game: 15 points, three rebounds, three assists, three steals, 7-of-12 shooting.
8:05 p.m.: USC has the potential final possession of the half, down 49-30 to the Zags. They desperately need a score here … and it’s a defensive stop by Gonzaga.
8 p.m.: Kispert and Suggs score a 3- and 2-pointer, respectively, to stymie the USC run. It’s 41-24 Zags.
7:55 p.m.: USC’s Tahj Eady and Isaiah Mobley make a pair of 3s as part of an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to 36-23 with 4:25 left in the half — certainly significant, but not insurmountable. They might have to drain a few more of those to make it a real game, however.
7:51 p.m.: A Suggs 3 and Kipert 2-pointer make it 36-15 Zags. Of note: USC has seven turnovers compared to zero for Gonzaga. The Bulldogs are dominating every facet of the game right now.
7:44 p.m.: Here’s an interesting tidbit from the Zags’ scoring: 22 of their 27 points have come from inside the paint. They are currently 12 of 21 shooting.
7:40 p.m.: Suggs making it ugly:
7:38 p.m.: USC had four defenders in the paint and Timme bypassed all of them to make it 23-8; he has a game-high 13 points. It’s a 16-2 run by the Zags with 11:28 remaining in the half.
7:35 p.m.: Evan Mobley gets another dunk to break a 10-0 run by Gonzaga — followed by another short bucket by Timme. He has the last eight points for Gonzaga. As noted on the telecast, USC isn’t double-teaming him because he’s such a great passer, allowing him to pretty much score at will.
7:32 p.m.: And there’s Timme, scoring on three straight possessions: A 14-footer, dunk in transition and then another transition layup. The last bucket makes it 17-4 Gonzaga and gives Timme nine points. He’s playing out of his mind. Timeout USC.
7:31 p.m.: William Henderson is now in for Smith and we’re back to action.
7:31 p.m.: Smith is now on his feet, but this is definitely the last we’ve seen of him for this game. He’s being wheeled off while awake and alert. That’s good, at least.
7:28 p.m.: They’re bringing out the stretcher.
7:26 p.m.: Uh-oh. One of the officials, Bert Smith, has collapsed on the court. He seems to be talking on the ground but he is laid out flat on his back.
7:25 pm.: Gonzaga’s Anton Watson is called for the foul on an inbounds pass to Evan Mobley. USC gets the bucket to make it 7-4.
7:22 p.m.: Evan Mobley puts USC on the board for the first time with a put-back layup. It seems as if he accidentally elbowed Ayayi in the face coming down; the Zags junior is on the ground checking his teeth. Looks like he’ll be OK.
7:18 p.m.: USC coach Andy Enfield calls his first timeout at 18:03 in the first half after the Zags get yet another turnover — their third in four possessions — and make the score 7-0. Bulldogs playing like the top overall seed early.
7:17 p.m.: And there’s Timme again, getting the turnover off an errant pass. The Zags get the field goal again and make it 3-0 quickly.
7:15 p.m.: Timme gets a steal and tries to score on the fast break; he misses, gets the rebound and is fouled on the attempt. He’l attempt two free throws.
7 p.m.: Tonight’s starters:
Gonzaga starters: Suggs, Ayayi, Nembhard, Kispert and Timme.
USC: Eaddy, Peterson, White, E. Mobley, I. Mobley.
— Jim Meehan (@SRJimm) March 30, 2021
How to watch Gonzaga vs. USC
Tuesday’s Elite Eight game between Gonzaga and USC is scheduled to tip off at 7:15 p.m. ET (4:15 p.m. PT), followed by Michigan vs. UCLA.
Both games will be broadcast nationally on TBS; Kevin Harlan, Dan Bonner and Dana Jacobson will call USC-Gonzaga, while Brian Anderson, Jim Jackson and Allie LaForce will call UCLA-Michigan. You can stream the game on March Madness Live, the online home of every 2021 NCAA Tournament game.
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