Gonzaga has punched its ticket, emphatically, to the Final Four.
The Bulldogs were nearly untouchable for the entirety of their Elite Eight romp over the Trojans, jumping out to a 7-0 lead and winning 85-66. Three players scored in double digits for Gonzaga, including a game-high 23 points from Drew Timme. He was easily the best player on the floor, adding five rebounds, four assists, three steals and 10-of-19 field goal shooting.
He was joined by Jalen Suggs (18 points) and Corey Kispert (18 points) as double-digit scorers; Kispert had eight rebounds, while Suggs had 10 rebounds and eight assists. Their combined power overwhelmed the Trojans and made it so that Gonzaga never trailed in the game. The result is Gonzaga’s second-ever Final Four berth and 30-0 record.
USC got behind early but, to its credit, played better in the second half. Five Trojans starters scored in the double digits, including 36 combined from Mobley brothers Evan (19 points) and Isaiah (17). The team stats suggest a closer game than even the score would suggest: a testament to how dominant Few’s team was in the first half, even when they slowed down considerably after the break.
Sporting News tracked 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
Gonzaga vs. USC updates, highlights from Elite Eight
All times ET
Second Half: Gonzaga 85, USC 66
9:17 p.m.: Final: Gonzaga 85, USC 66. Absolute destruction.
9:16 p.m.: And there’s another Suggs 3, just for giggles. It’s 83-64 Gonzaga with less than a minute remaining.
9:12 p.m.: Gonzaga is content to let the clock run down on each of its possessions. Under two minutes now leading 80-62.
9:06 p.m.: And there’s the final media timeout. Zags lead 78-58 with 3:45 remaining.
9:05 p.m.: USC now aiming for a full-court press. It’s not even desperation at this point, but the Trojans have to try something down 76-58 and approaching the final media timeout.
9 p.m.: USC is playing better in the second half, to its credit. But the Trojans can’t cut into the lead as long as Gonzaga keeps making shots like Aaron Cook’s deep 3-pointer. That makes it 74-55 Bulldogs with 6:24 remaining.
8:57 p.m.: Kispert is fouled on his layup attempt and will take two shots when the game comes back from media timeout. The Zags lead 70-50 with 7:49 remaining.
8:54 p.m.: A Trojans player could be heard saying, “Hey I’m wide open man” after a missed shot attempt. Been that kind of night for USC.
8:48 p.m.: A Timme layup gives him 21 points and makes it 64-43 Gonzaga at the second media timeout (11:06).
8:44 p.m.: And that’s quickly followed by a Kispert 3. He now has 15 points on 5-of-13 shooting and six rebounds.
8:44 p.m.: USC’s still down big, but Gonzaga is letting them back into it: The Zags are 3 of 9 shooting for the half and have two turnovers.
8:40 p.m.: It’s 58-39 Zags at the first media timeout (14:23)
8:31 p.m.: A couple of 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 14
- Assists: Gonzaga 13; USC 5
- Steals: Gonzaga 6; USC 0
- Blocks: Gonzaga 2; USC 0
- Turnovers: Gonzaga 1; USC 7
- Largest 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’ll 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.
March Madness Final Four schedule 2021
Saturday, April 3
NCAA Tournament national championship
Monday, April 5
|Game 67||9 p.m.||CBS, fuboTV|