Upset watch: Oakland-UK on big screens irks Few

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SALT LAKE CITY — Gonzaga coach Mark Few was not pleased that the Oakland-Kentucky nail-biter was shown on the big screens above the court during the Bulldogs’ NCAA tournament game against McNeese on Thursday evening.

It got to a point where Few addressed it with tournament officials courtside.

“I appreciate you saying ‘talked’ to them about it,” Few said after Gonzaga’s 86-65 win in the first round. “Let’s go with that description because, yeah, I just thought — I know, I guess, it’s protocol. We don’t need that. It’s the NCAA tournament. These kids are involved. It’s the biggest game of their lives. Those officials, you know, it’s a big moment for them.

“Everybody just needs to enjoy the game at hand. It doesn’t need to be like the Few house where we’re flipping channels every 15 seconds and not watching the show we’re supposed to be watching.”

Oakland’s upset bid caused loud reactions from the fans inside the Delta Center while the McNeese-Gonzaga game was unfolding in front of them. At one point, McNeese’s Christian Shumate was lining up to shoot a free throw when an explosion of cheers broke out because Oakland’s Trey Townsend had a steal. Any time Kentucky made a mistake or Oakland did something to hold on to its lead, the crowd got loud. A “Here we go, Oakland, here we go” chant even broke out.

Twice, the game was turned off on the big screens to a chorus of boos. After the first time, it was put back on, but it stayed off after the second with just seconds left until Oakland pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament thus far.

“I mean, I really think that needs to change,” Few said. “It was impacting the game. Again, I mean, the McNeese people were there to watch McNeese; Gonzaga people were there to watch Gonzaga. It’s the NCAA tournament. If you can’t get entertained, then get out and let’s get somebody else in your seat. Plain and simple.”

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