TUCSON, Ariz. - There were hugs and tears and sloppy kisses on the Texas Tech sideline. Bob Knight, whose more famous emotional outbursts have involved slapping players, throwing chairs and bellying up to referees, wrapped his senior point guard Ronald Ross in a full-body embrace, then sent his son, Patrick, into the stands to bring his wife, Karen, onto the floor.
Texas Tech, seeded sixth in the Albuquerque Regional, had just moved into the NCAA tournament Sweet 16 after upsetting No. 3 seed Gonzaga, 71-69, yesterday at the McKale Center. For Knight, who is looking forward to his first Sweet 16 appearance since 1994, the moment was filled with joy he doesn't often let the public see.
"Coach Knight, I think, enjoys coaching us," said Ross, who came to Lubbock as a non-scholarship freshman and who has now scored 52 points in two NCAA games. "I think maybe we don't have all the best players in the world, but we have a bunch of guys who want to be here."
This is the second straight year that Gonzaga (26-5) was upset early. A year ago, as a No. 2 seed, the Bulldogs were beaten by Nevada.
"People don't understand how hard it is to just get into the tournament and win just one game," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "You can never feel bad getting this far."
Ross hit a nerveless three-pointer with 1:06 left in the game to pull the Red Raiders (22-10) into a 68-67 lead and end a comeback from what had once been a 42-29 second-half deficit. "I'm supposed to keep moving and get myself open," said Ross, who scored 24 points.
Knight, who coached his 854th win - 25 short of Dean Smith's NCAA Division I record 879 - has been criticized for not taking his Indiana and Texas Tech teams past the second round. After yesterday's win, Knight suggested that maybe he should have been congratulated some of these past 11 years for taking teams further than they deserved to go.
"Everybody talks about the fact we lost a game, lost an opening-round game," Knight said. "I look at it a little bit differently. I think that in the years we had a difficult time getting anywhere in the NCAA maybe, just maybe, it was a real positive thing that we'd gotten that far and maybe we'd just run out of gas."
When Gonzaga's Erroll Knight finished off a fast break with a slam dunk to give his team a 42-29 lead with 19:13 left, it seemed another Knight team would go home before the Sweet 16. The Red Raiders were having trouble handling 6-foot-8 sophomore Adam Morrison (25 points, nine rebounds) inside.
Washington 97, Pacific 79: The Huskies are making it a lot harder to question their No. 1 seed in the Albuquerque Regional.
The Huskies advanced to the round of 16 for the first time since 1998 with a victory over the Tigers.
Nate Robinson scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half, Bobby Jones scored 19 and Will Conroy had 10 assists for Washington (29-5).
Tre Simmons scored 15 for the Pacific 10 champion Huskies, whose top seed was the most disputed among the four No. 1s. But Washington backed it up well against Pacific.
The Huskies never trailed and pulled away by going 19-for-31 (61 percent) from the field in the second half. They finished shooting 56.3 percent (36-for-64) for the game.
Other than a brief push by eighth-seeded Pacific (27-4) midway through the second half, the Huskies dominated.
Guillaume Yango led Pacific with 17 points and 10 rebounds and Christian Maraker added 12 points for the Tigers.
The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune Publishing newspaper. The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Top performer: West Virginia's Mike Gansey scored 29 points as the Mountaineers outlasted Wake Forest, 111-105, in double overtime.
Big surprise: No. 2 seed Wake Forest of the ACC lost in the second round for the third time in four years.
He said it: "I just hope we have a city when we get back to school. It might get burned down." - West Virginia guard J.D. Collins