For that reason, as well as the fact that all eight universities playing in the Salt Lake City regional were located more than a 10-hour drive away, establishing a vocal majority in the crowd can be hard, if not impossible.
A closer, slowed down look at the play clearly shows Gonzaga's Zach Collings interfering with the basket as his hand actually went throught the hoop before making the block. He was wrong to treat the coaches box like a snake pit and run onto the floor to meet the official.
The keepers of the game that has filled Chris Collins's whole life long have figured there's plenty of room along the sideline, or at one's unused chair, for justified anger. The refs hit him with a technical foul.
What a morsel on which to chew indefinitely. The change in momentum was ultimately what sealed the Wildcats fate, an unfortunate set of circumstances that ended Northwestern's first trip to the NCAA Tournament. The field goal should have been awarded, Gonzaga's lead should have been cut to three and with Mark Few's Bulldogs in complete meltdown mode, it felt like the game was going to be Northwestern's to lose. He shouldn't. Bad calls happen all the time.
Here's Collins' reaction upon hearing that the NCAA admitted the call was missed. The team seemed out of it - taking 14 minutes to score its first 10 points of the game.
I had totally come to terms with Northwestern getting the living crap kicked out of it. Article 2.a.3 states that a basket interference occurs when a player reaches through the basket from below and touches the ball before it enters the cylinder. The succeeding four-point swing tilted the outcome in Gonzaga's favor; Northwestern never got closer than five points, and Gonzaga won 79-73 to advance to the Sweet 16.
Collins was measured after the game when addressing the missed call, but was clearly frustrated with the finality of a loss in what was a historic season for Northwestern.
For a player who is defensively and athletically already among the Big Ten's elite, Law will need to use the physical tools that he already has in his arsenal to add an element or two to his offensive game going forward.
With just under 3 minutes left, the Zags went to the 7-footer on two straight plays on the low block.
Collins handled the questions about the call with class, noting that it is human to err and nothing could be done about it now. Referees are human beings, they're here for a reason because they're outstanding officials and they made the calls. The guy puts his hand through the rim. "I'm a human being".
"I think about it".
Northwestern's first turn at the second round did contain more things about which to spend the coming years yammering.
The team that had scored seven points off Northwestern turnovers in the first half was now the team that had turned over the ball 11 times (and allowed the Wildcats to score 17 points off those turnovers).
Williams-Goss led three Bulldogs in double figures with 20 points and eight rebounds. And we fought to the very end.