Xavier returns to the Sweet 16 after dominating win over Florida State

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That led to some tears being shed when Northwestern was hit with some bad calls and when the team ultimately fell to No. 1 seed Gonzaga, 79-73.

NCAA Tournament tickets are sold for two-game sessions instead of individual games, which equates to the arena being divided among four fan bases even while watching only two teams at a time.

The common read on the Big Ten entering the NCAA Tournament was that it was sputtering to the end of a subpar season. FSU is one of the tallest teams in college basketball and they like to score inside they have to stick to that it has worked all season if they want to compete with Xavier. Gonzaga speed, inside scoring with their bigs, and dictating the flow and temple of the game was what got them the win.

It all makes sense now.

The 2016 Zags resided on the NCAA tournament bubble but the emergence of guards Josh Perkins, Eric McClellan, Kyle Dranginis and Silas Melson triggered a late-season surge. There is no fellow No. 1 seed standing in the way of a championship game, thanks to Villanova's loss in the East.

Popular statistics site FiveThirtyEight.com gives the Bulldogs an 18-percent chance of wining their first National Title, the best chances of any team left in the field. Second-seeded Arizona and fourth-seeded Butler each won by nine, and West Virginia opened the day with a 12-point win over Notre Dame.

"I made a dumb-a** foul".

As the Northwestern locker room began to empty a bit Saturday, it was players - not reporters - walking up to one another and asking questions. Collins hasn't just built a program that will surface for a season. He averaged 15.8 points a game coming into the night.

"They wanted to win, they wanted to play in NCAA Tournament games and they wanted to have a chance to win an NCAA Tournament game".

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"Just accomplishing one of the goals we've set for ourselves and making the tournament was an awesome feeling", said guard Scottie Lindsey.

One giant leap for Wildcat-kind. He exuded an air of superiority over all on the floor around him, in particular the man approaching him with the ball; the leading scorer for one of the nation's leading teams, Nigel Williams-Goss.

But that title came in a year where the level of elite talent in college basketball was at a four-year low.

"In all these games, I feel like Northwestern has had the most fans", Law said of what he was thinking in those postgame moments.

Northwestern was making its first NCAA appearance ever and had caught the attention of the nation.

Those details are really easy to pick through now.

My son is 18 months old. He explained that they've all been there, and when a mistake happens, the team's "going to be around me and support me and vice versa".

He's going to ask about The Shot. "I honestly can't really remember". "This is just a beginning and I can't wait to see what the future holds".

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