SALT LAKE CITY -- A March Madness warm-up turned into a great escape for Gonzaga.
The Zags got pushed to the limit by Southern on Thursday, pulling out a 64-58 victory in the closing minutes to avoid becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16 in the NCAA tournament.
Kelly Olynyk led the Zags (32-2) with 21 points. They play No. 9 Wichita State on Saturday.
But it was a pair of 3-pointers -- one by Gary Bell Jr., the next by Kevin Pagnos -- that staked the Bulldogs to a 62-58 lead only moments after the game was tied at 56 with 3:45 left.
Derick Beltran had 21 points to lead Southern (23-10) and his 14-foot baseline jumper tied it at 56. But the Jaguars from the Southwestern Athletic Conference didn't make another field goal.
No. 1 seeds are now 113-0 against 16s.