Gonzaga meets Xavier Saturday in the Elite 8 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Gonzaga meets Xavier Saturday in the Elite 8

Courtesy: Torrey Vail Courtesy: Torrey Vail
By Gonzaga Athletics
#1 Gonzaga (35-1) vs. #11 Xavier (24-13)
SATURDAY, MARCH 25, 2017 | 3:09 P.M. | SAN JOSE, CA | SAP CENTER
TELEVISION: TBS (Brian Anderson, Chris Webber and Lewis Johnson)
RADIO: Gonzaga IMG Radio Network (Tom Hudson and Matt Santangelo)
LIVE STATS: GoZags.com
ABOUT THE SERIES
- This is the fifth all-time meeting between Gonzaga and Xavier, a fellow Jesuit institution in Cincinnati, Ohio.
- The Zags have won the last three matchups in the series, including the latest at Xavier, 72-65, on Dec. 31, 2011.
- The programs met in Spokane on Dec. 22, 2010, and GU pulled away with a 64-54 victory.
- Xavier and the Bulldogs met in the first round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament in Salt Lake City. Third-seeded Gonzaga trailed the 14th-seeded Musketeers at halftime, 39-36, before edging out Xavier for the 79-75 win. Adam Morrison scored 35 points for GU in the victory.
- The Musketeers won the first-ever meeting, 87-82, on Dec. 23, 1960.
- This is the third appearance in the Elite Eight for both Xavier and Gonzaga. Both will be looking to advance to the Final Four for the first time in program history. And, both have 27 wins in NCAA Tournament history.
 
ABOUT XAVIER
- The 11th-seeded Musketeers roll into Saturday’s Elite Eight after a 73-71 win over second-seeded Arizona Thursday.
- Xavier erased a seven-point lead in the final three minutes of the game, scoring nine unanswered in the final 2:37 to secure the two-point win. Trevon Bluiett led the Musketeers with 25 points after scoring 18 in the first half.
- Bluiett, First Team All-BIG EAST and All-BIG EAST Tournament, leads the BIG EAST in scoring at 18.7 ppg. and is 10th in rebounding at 5.6 rpg. The junior has 19 games with 20 points or more this season, including all three NCAA games. He has averaged 25.0 ppg. in this year’s NCAA Tournament.
- J.P. Macura is second on the team in scoring (16th in BIG EAST at 14.3 ppg.).
- Quentin Goodin has averaged 5.5 assists per game in his 16 straight starts at point guard, including a career-high nine assists in the NCAA win over Maryland.
- Xavier leads the BIG EAST in free throw attempts (860) and free throw makes (594) this season.
 
NCAA TOURNAMENT NOTES
- Gonzaga is making its 19th consecutive NCAA Tournament Appearance and 20th overall.
- The 19 straight berths to the field is the fourth-longest current streak in the nation (Kansas, Duke, Michigan State).
- Gonzaga is 27-19 all-time in 20 NCAA Tournament appearances with eight trips to the Sweet 16 and now three trips to the Elite Eight.
- GU is 24-17 in the NCAA Tournament under Mark Few with a berth in all 18 seasons of Few’s head coaching career.
- The Bulldogs are one of only three programs to appear in the Sweet 16 in each of the last three seasons. Wisconsin and North Carolina are the other two programs.
- Gonzaga is one of only two teams to win its opening-round NCAA Tournament game each of the last nine seasons. Kansas is the other program.
- The Bulldogs receive a one-seed for the second time in program history. The 2012-13 Zags defeated [16] Southern as the top-seed in the West, before falling to [9] Wichita State. Both of those games were played in Salt Lake City.
- Gonzaga has played more NCAA Tournament games in Salt Lake City than any other site, winning six of the nine games played there.
- GU is 1-1 against 11-seeds in the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs beat 11th-seeded UCLA, 74-62, in the 2015 Sweet 16.
- The Zags are 0-2 in regional final games. Top-seeded and eventual national champion, Duke, beat Gonzaga, 66-52, in the 2015 Elite Eight. Both Bulldog Elite Eight losses have come to eventual national champions (UConn, 67-62, in 1999).
- Gonzaga is 18-13 all-time as a single-digit seed, with an 11-2 record in its first round game as a single-digit seed, 7-7 in the round-of-32, 2-2 in regional semifinal games and 0-1 in regional final games.
- Last season, [11] Gonzaga defeated [6] Seton Hall and [3] Utah in Denver, Colo., to advance to the Sweet 16 where it fell to [10] Syracuse.
 
ANOTHER PROGRAM RECORD
- GU won its 35th game of the season Thursday, equaling the most wins in a season in program history.
- The 2014-15 Bulldogs finished the season in the Elite Eight at 35-3.
- Gonzaga also reached the 1,600-win plateau in program history with its win over Northwestern.
- The Zags boast a 1,601-1,088 all-time record, a .595 winning percentage.
 
CRACKING DOWN EARLY
- Through the first three games of the NCAA Tournament, Gonzaga is limiting opponents to 28.4 percent shooting from the field during the first half, including 5-of-34 (14.7 percent) from behind-the-arc.
- The Bulldogs are outscoring opponents in the first half by an average of 31-24.
- During the tournament, GU is allowing only 33.2 percent shooting from the field and 26.9 percent from three-point range.
 
NO OPEN LOOKS
- During the Zags’ win over West Virginia, Gonzaga contested the Mountaineers on 90 percent of their shots.
- WVU finished 14-of-54 from the field (25.9 percent) on those contested shots.
- The Mountaineers had just six shots from the field that were not contested, and they made two of those.
- West Virginia finished the game shooting 26.7 percent from the field.
 
DIALING FROM DEEP
- Jordan Mathews’ nine made three-pointers through the first three games of the NCAA Tournament moved him to eighth in program history for most three-pointers in the tournament in a career.
- He is leading the Zags averaging 14.3 points per game during the NCAA Tournament.
 
NABC HONORS ZAGS
- Nigel Williams-Goss was selected Second Team All-American by the NABC.
- Mark Few was named the NABC District 9 Coach of the Year, while Przemek Karnowski and Nigel Williams-Goss were selected to the NABC District 9 First Team. Zach Collins was named to the second team.
 
LIFE ON THE ROAD
- Since March 6, 2010, Gonzaga is 110-30 in road or neutral games. The Zags’ 78.6-win percentage on the road or neutral games tops the nation over that span.
- The Zags have won 20 consecutive games away from the McCarthey Athletic Center.
- The Bulldogs were the only team in the country that went perfect on the road this season at 9-0.
- Gonzaga last went unbeaten on the road in the 2003-04 season when it went 10-0.
- GU has won 11 straight true road games, which is the longest streak in the nation.
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