Gonzaga beats USC

Gonzaga enters Final Four on auto-pilot

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Gonzaga got on a roll and put on a show, cruising into the Final Four with an 85-66 beatdown of a Southern California team that was nowhere near ready for what it ran into Tuesday night.

The top-seeded and top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs will be the third team to bring an undefeated record into the Final Four since the bracket expanded to 64 teams in 1985. The last team to go undefeated was Indiana in 1976. On Saturday in the national semifinals, Gonzaga will face UCLA.

Gonzaga beats USC

Blowouts are supposed to be boring, but this had the feel of a Globetrotters game at times, filled with fancy bounce passes through traffic, reverse layups, a swooping power dunk from Joel Ayayi (nine points), and the occasional post-basket flex from the 6-foot-10 Timme.

Gonzaga led sixth-seeded USC 7-0 after two minutes, 25-8 after 8:30, and 36-15 after Kispert took a nifty dish from Timme for an easy layup with 6:03 left in the half.

The game was interrupted by a frightening moment early when official Bert Smith collapsed on the floor and had to be taken off in a wheelchair. In the second half, CBS passed along word that Smith felt OK and resting in the arena.

He was replaced by Tony Henderson, but there was no heavy lifting for the backup.

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