NCAA issues statement on non-goaltending call in Gonzaga-Northwestern game

Beth Cruz
March 20, 2017

And while it may take some time for the little guy to get over the loss, he should be happy that he was able to do something no other Northwestern fan has been able to do until now: watch their beloved Wildcats in the Big Dance.

"Just accomplishing one of the goals we've set for ourselves and making the tournament was an awesome feeling", said guard Scottie Lindsey. "We all enjoy competing at the highest level". Lumpkin, though, has the unique distinction of having spent a season in the days before Collins, back when Northwestern was what it had been for more than seven decades, a losing program with no hopes of ever reaching the NCAA tournament. At a critical point in the second half of a very close game, official blew a call against Gonzaga that should have been interference. "We had all of the momentum".

The problem is, Collins was right and not just in a "we looked at this in super slo-mo for five minutes and think refs got the call wrong" but in a "how did you miss this call live, it was obvious to everybody in the building, watching on television and probably even listening on radio". A young Northwestern fan perfectly encapsulated that, by showing an unbelievable amount of emotion as he reacted to a foul call against his beloved team midway through the second half. Head coach Chris Collins received a technical with less than five minutes left while looking for a goaltending call that never came. The guy puts his hand through the rim. Gonzaga faces fourth-seeded West Virginia in the West Regional semifinal Thursday in San Jose, California.

In the early going, the Zags controlled.

"It made me feel what I thought for many years when I was there, that Northwestern could be on the same level as a Duke, a Stanford, a Vanderbilt, some of the academic schools", he said. "But it's an honest mistake".

Chicago Sun-Times reporter Steve Greenberg says the boy, 11-year-old John, is Northwestern Athletic Director Jim Phillips' son.


Of course, for those who have followed Northwestern all season, it will not be the first time that they have puzzled over Law for more or less this same reason. While that was a daunting task in of itself, the Wildcats had to fight against something else - tournament officiating. Bryant McIntosh scored 13 of his 20 points in the second half and Vic Law had 15 of his 18, as Northwestern finally found an answer for Gonzaga's quick guards and smooth-as-can-be ball movement. Northwestern (24-12) rallied from a 21-point deficit in the second half, but ultimately couldn't fully overcome a sluggish start on offense.

Leading Scorers: Gonzaga- Nigel Williams-Goss 20 pts, 8 rebs, 4 ast Jordan Mathews 14 pts, 7 rebs, Zach Collins 14 pts, 5 rebs.

"I'm never letting this one go", freshman Rapolas Ivanauskas said as he clung to an NCAA sign. Then on the other end, Scottie Lindsey blocked Williams-Goss shot. I suppose this makes sense - if they were allowed to review everything, there could be a problem with game length.

At one point in the first half, Gonzaga led by 22.

And Northwestern - with solid talent returning and a coach who made history this year - will look to do that. Bonzie Colson led the Irish with 27 points and eight rebounds, including a career-high four 3-pointers.

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