The Cinderella run ends for Xavier. It was a complete 180-degree shift from Gonzaga's Sweet 16 struggles against West Virginia, which almost broke the top-seeded Bulldogs with its relentless press.
The Mountaineers put up a fight.
In the second half Gonzaga picked up where it left off, connecting on more three-pointers and only extending its lead over Xavier.
Now, they'll go up against No. 11-seeded Xavier.
Gonzaga is relying on the outside shot to start the West Regional final against Xavier. "Gonzaga's frontcourt offered a clear advantage against a Musketeer lineup whose tallest player measures in at 6'9". Following their round of 64 game, they faced an extremely talented Florida State team who donned the 3-seed. Malcolm Bernard and RaShid Gaston are living out their dreams that inspired them to leave their former schools, where they were stars, for the opportunity to play a role on a team with a legit chance at making a run in the NCAA Tournament.
And they accomplished the feat against No. 11 Xavier who upset three teams on its way to their third Elite Eight.
So maybe we can annex Warsaw and Krakow as honorary West Coast cities for the next week.
For all the answers Xavier had for Karnowski, though, it was defenseless against Gonzaga's 3-point shooting.
No opponent made half its shots in a game against Gonzaga all season, with San Francisco posting the top mark of 46.9 percent.
His Zags had just held off West Virginia to reach the Elite Eight and he was asked if he felt like the monkey was off his back. That's flirting with danger. He shifted to the Zags, sat out 2015-16 and scored a game-high 23 points against the Musketeers.
The Musketeers came this close to scoring some more miraculous points when J.P. Macura sank this 75-footer on the next possession, but the shot was called off after a review determined he hadn't released it in time.
Along with that, the Musketeers need Trevon Bluiett to be as efficient from the field as he was with his 9-of-17 shooting performance in the Sweet 16.
Sindarius Thornwell scored 24 points and seventh-seeded SC cruised past third-seeded Baylor 70-50 on Friday night in the East Regional semifinals, the Bears' worst NCAA Tournament loss. If he gets help from Macura (14 points) and Malcolm Bernard.
There's just one thing: it wasn't anyone on Xavier that shot this ball.
"It's not validation now they've made a Final Four", said the transfer from Cal. "Look at all the past great teams with Matt Bouldin, Adam Morrison, Matt Santangelo and (Jeremy) Pargo, just great guys, great players on fantastic teams". Both were tied for most wins without a Final Four appearance at 27, and neither head coach has been to the holiest of holy levels in college basketball in their time as coach. Karnowski while only posting five points on the game and was in the mix over the span of the game with his movement down low cleared space for the Bulldogs in the front court.
As the Zags tightened their defense in the second half, Xavier was left to look for answers that never materialized.