NCAA Basketball March Madness

Gonzaga Basketball Takes Care Of Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

In a game that featured 61 fouls, the No. 8 seed Gonzaga took out a popular dark horse pick.

Junior guard Kevin Pangos scored 26 points to lead the Bulldogs over Marcus Smart and the No. 9 seed Oklahoma State 85-77 in a second round matchup of the NCAA tournament in San Diego.

While Pangos led the charge for the Bulldog guards, center Przemek Karnowski chipped in an impressive double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

As for Smart, who ends his collegiate career without winning any postseason games, he filled the stat sheet for the Cowboys. Smart finished with 23 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, proving to NBA scouts that he is ready to take his career to the next level.

The contest slowed down considerably in the second half, as the fouls started to pile up for both teams. Five players fouled out, and the two teams shot a combined 78 free throws.

Despite plentiful opportunities from the charity stripe, neither team took advantage, as the Bulldogs shot 63 percent from the line, while the Cowboys managed to hit 60 percent.

Hopefully for college basketball fans, the whistles will be silenced in the next round as the Bulldogs take on the No. 1 seed Arizona Wildcats.

In a role reversal from last year, Gonzaga looks to play spoiler, as it is the underdog instead of the expected Final Four contender. Despite playing in their 16th consecutive NCAA tournament, the Bulldogs still fail to scare teams like many college basketball powerhouses would.

But if the Bulldogs can knock off the Wildcats, the West Region could belong to Gonzaga.

Josh Paulisin is a College Basketball Writer for RantSports. He is also an NHL Contributor. Follow him on Twitter, “like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.