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Southern almost pulls historic upset on top-seeded Gonzaga

SALT LAKE CITY — It almost happened, finally.

In 112 matchups between the No. 1 and No. 16 seeds in NCAA tournament’s long history, the one has always won.

But, a small school from Baton Rouge, La., nearly pulled maybe the greatest upset in tournament history in a 64-58 loss to top-seeded Gonzaga.

The Jaguars only trailed by 10 or more points for one minute and 27 seconds of the entire game, and were within one point with 2:28 to go.

But, a late three from Gonzaga’s Kevin Pangos put it away for the Bulldogs, securing what was supposed to be an easy win.

Either way, Southern was the the closest 16-seed to a win since Murray State lost to Michigan State by four, in overtime, in 1990.

“Coming into the game,” said Jaguars point guard Jameel Grace, “we thought we were gonna make history. We always expected to come into the game and win.”

Said Southern head coach Roman Banks: “This has been an amazing ride for us.”