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

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Subsequently, with 4:54 remaining in the game and based on bench decorum rules outlined in the rules book, a technical foul was assessed to Northwestern head coach Chris Collins for coming on to the floor to argue the non-call while the ball was in play.

Freshman center Lauri Markkanen scored 16 points and collected 10 rebounds to help No. 2-seeded Arizona rally after halftime to beat seventh-seeded Saint Mary's at Salt Lake City.

Northwestern won their first game of the weekend but ran into No. 1 seeded Gonzaga in the second game. The only way I see the Mountaineers winning this one is if they play better defense than they did vs Bucknell and control how many touches Colson gets.

"We just were playing for our lives", junior guard Bryant McIntosh said.

He saw a sea of purple supporting Northwestern's maiden NCAA tournament voyage.

Gonzaga big man Zach Collins met Pardon at the rim for a resounding block, but put his hand through the rim to do so. Collins' hand was inside the rim, which is a no-no. "I don't know what happened", Collins said.

It was a clear goaltending violation that should have resulted in two points for the Cats.

The NCAA later issued a statement admitting that the referees blew the call.

Collins sighed and thanked the NCAA for what he considered to be an apology for the missed call, which - had it been made correctly - would have cut Gonzaga's lead to 63-60.

There is no one more qualified to describe the journey from the days before the start of the Chris Collins Era to where Northwestern basketball is now, four years after Collins arrived in Evanston. "I'm a human being".

"I think about it". Just like that, Nigel Williams-Goss made two free throws to expand the lead to seven points and pretty much end several minutes of momentum turning in favor of Northwestern.

One Division I coach who requested anonymity, in fact, actually sent a text to a USA TODAY Sports reporter midway through the second half: "I like Chris, but can't believe he hasn't gotten a T".

NU had nearly five minutes to answer back after the no-call and technical foul. They had been asked about their academic standards before their first-round game versus Vanderbilt - another renowned academic institution - and this week's midterm exams.

Collins was right to protest. "But it's an honest mistake".

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. The Cats put themselves in a huge hole Saturday and then, instead of completely caving in, they valiantly fought back and made a game of it. This is what we live for, we prepare for and we enjoy doing.

Scottie Lindsey hit an off-balance 3 with 20 seconds to go to cut the lead to five, but late free throws held off Northwestern's comeback. "And look, there's a lot of basketball to be played, but I do believe in my heart that if that's called correctly we would've had a great chance to win".



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