The No. 1 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs survived against the No. 8 seed Memphis Tigers on Saturday night in a round of 32 game that had Final Four intensity. Memphis had been one of the hottest teams in college basketball since a lineup change near the end of January, and they pushed the Zags to their absolute limit. Gonzaga survived, 82-78, to advance to at least the Sweet 16 for the seventh straight year.
Memphis took a 10-point lead into halftime, but star center Drew Timme woke up in the second half and carried Gonzaga to victory. Timme scored 21 of his 25 points after halftime, wrecking havoc on Memphis’ interior defense by getting their top players into foul trouble and then hitting a series of incredible hook shots and floaters in the paint.
Timme was interviewed by CBS after the game and was asked what he said during halftime with the Zags down double-figures. His response was a hilarious example of self-censorship.
“I said I don’t give a flying F what happens at the end of the game,” Timme said when asked about his halftime speech. “Whether we lose or win, we’re not going out as no … uhh … soft guys. Leave it all out on the floor because it could be your last 20. If you go all out and we still lose, play with no regrets. We took that to heart. We came out with the win fortunately.”
Yeah, we’re sure he said “flying F” in the locker room. Going to go out on a limb and guess he used a word that wasn’t “soft guys” during that speech, too. But honestly, credit to Timme for being able to come up with family friendly language with the whole country watching on national television.
Timme was at the forefront of Gonzaga’s run to the national title game last year, and he wants nothing more than to redeem the program after the loss to Baylor that ended its (undefeated) season.
Timme has been one of the biggest stars on an incredibly successful program the last two seasons. He’s Gonzaga’s emotional leader off the court, too. While Timme is always taunting and celebrating on the floor, we now know he’s able to clean himself up off of it at a moment’s notice.