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Zach Norvell saved Gonzaga from being March Madness' first upset victim

Zach Norvell saved Gonzaga from being March Madness' first upset victim

ON the season, Gonzaga averages 84.5 points, 39.9 rebounds and 15.7 assists per game.

Even after turnovers and a clutch Gonzaga shot put the Spartans in a three-point hole with less than 20 seconds to play, senior guard Marvin Smith rose and fired for the tie.

Norvell may not have the on-court tournament experience that Perkins has, but he was around for last season's run.

"You think about the what-ifs", said Spartans coach Wes Miller, who helped UNCG make the tournament for the first time since 2001.

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Gonzaga's last four wins prior to UNCG were all by 14 points or more, including a 20-point win over BYU in the WCC tournament final. Gonzaga shot nearly 59 percent from the field, 12 for 25 from 3-point range, and won 86-59.

Things opened up in the second, and behind Alonso and Demetrius (16 points each), UNCG chipped away, finally taking the lead on Jordy Kuiper's tip-in at the 1:48 mark. While the Zags are aiming for another deep run, they'll need to be careful not to overlook UNC Greensboro, which boasts a veteran backcourt and ranks sixth in the nation in scoring defense at 62.4 points per game. That's a formula for an upset, especially when UNC-Greensboro sophomore forward James Dickey (10 points) got going late.

Gonzaga moves to the second round for the 10th straight year and will face either No. 5 Ohio State or No. 12 South Dakota State on Saturday. Totals 25-59 13-25 68.

Josh Perkins tied the game at 64, and after Greensboro's Francis Alonso forced up a miss, Gonzaga got the rebound and worked the ball to Norvell, a redshirt freshman, who spotted up from the right elbow and made the 3 for the lead.

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