The round-of-32 NCAA tournament matchup Sunday between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Gonzaga Bulldogs was never really close, and now we know why.
The Bulldogs were promised a special treat if they won, and just the thought of that prize gave them all the motivation they needed.
So, you ask, what was this amazing incentive that pushed the Zags to the Sweet 16? Benihana.
On Saturday night the team went to a burger restaurant for dinner in Seattle, but en route the squad's bus drove past a Benihana. Kyle Wiltjer, the team's star forward, took note of the Benihana and brought it up with the coaching staff.
"I was like, Coach, we should go to Benihana," Wiltjer told reporters after his team's win. "And one of out assistants said, ‘Hey, if you get the win tonight, we'll go to Benihana in Houston.’ So I was extra motivated because now we get to go to Benihana. So I'm hyped."
Wiltjer went on to score a game-high 24 points in his team's 87-68 win. The 6-foot-10 Kentucky transfer is having a stellar season for the Bulldogs, earning WCC Newcomer of the Year honors and leading the team to a school-record 34 wins.
While the Bulldogs have UCLA and perhaps Duke ahead of them, they can sleep well knowing that at some point in their near future they will be dining at one of Houston's two Benihanas.
The restaurant itself was pretty excited to hear the news:
— Benihana (@Benihana) March 23, 2015