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With the first weekend of the tournament now over, fewer than five percent of college basketball’s teams 353 teams are still playing. Kansas and Kansas State, both No. 4 seeds this year, aren’t. It’s hard to win two games in the NCAA Tournament, regardless of your seed number. Yet Gonzaga, with its victories in Salt Lake City over Fairleigh Dickinson and Baylor this past weekend, has done it five years in a row.
Take a wild guess which Zag had the honor of putting a Gonzaga sticker on the Sweet 16 line of an oversized NCAA Tournament bracket inside the locker room. “Don’t put it on there crooked,” one teammate instructed. “Take your time big fella,” another coached. Brandon Clarke, as he did during the previous two hours with his monster effort in Gonzaga’s 83-71 win Saturday over Baylor, nailed the finish, inserting Gonzaga’s name in place and patting it a few times to make sure it wasn’t going anywhere.
All those “watch lists” for college basketball’s many awards that managed to miss on Brandon Clarke altogether this year, or scramble to include him at midseason, or leave him off the final cut? Well, Gonzaga’s vicar of vertical wrote his own on Saturday afternoon. The “Watch Me” list.
On a night when even Corey Kispert may have refuted the idea that his contributions outweighed those of teammate Brandon Clarke, longtime GU coach Mark Few was adamant that his sophomore forward was the Most Valuable Zag against the Bears.
From Gonzaga’s first Associated Press All-American to first round draft pick to broadcaster, Dan Dickau has seen all levels of the basketball world.
Brandon Clarke is a relative newcomer to these high-pressure NCAA Tournament games in front of packed arenas on national television. The junior forward seems to be a fast learner; it took him all of two games to put his name in Gonzaga’s record book and join select company in NCAA Tournament annals.
It was a French treat, served up to Killian Tillie and Joel Ayayi on a silver platter moments after Gonzaga finished off Baylor 83-71 in the NCAA Tournament.
Key moment, offensive MVP and defensive MVP from Gonzaga’s 83-71 victory over Baylor in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Brandon Clarke broke Adam Morrison’s school record for points in an NCAA Tournament game. He also became just the third player in tourney history with 35 points and five blocks in a game, joining Shaquille O’Neal and David Robinson.
Brandon Clarke broke Adam Morrison's Gonzaga NCAA Tournament record with 36 points in a second-round win over No. 9 Baylor, pushing Gonzaga into the Sweet 16. Clarke additionally became just the third player in NCAA history to have 35 points and five blocks in a tournament game.
Brandon Clarke poured in 36 points and top-seeded Gonzaga held off a second-half comeback attempt from ninth-seeded Baylor for a 83-71 victory on Saturday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Fueled by a NCAA Tournament school-record 36 points from Brandon Clarke, the Gonzaga Bulldogs are back in the Sweet 16 for the fifth-straight season the longest-such streak in the nation
After 34 games and 1,360 minutes, Gonzaga players are bound to have bumps, bruises and soreness. But this is the NCAA Tournament, so pain management turns into more of a mental game. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have to treat their bodies with more care.
Mark Few was selected coach of the year. Junior forwards Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke were named first team and sophomore wing Zach Norvell Jr. made second team.
At the edge of a merry Baylor locker room after the Bears bounced Syracuse from the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night, John Jakus pinned himself against a wall and weighed Fate’s idea of the perfect martini.
“Coach (Mark) Few said we have to get our hard hats on,” said senior point guard Josh Perkins, characterizing Saturday’s matchup between top-seeded Gonzaga and hard-nosed Baylor in the NCAA Tournament round of 32.
It’s difficult to picture now: Rui Hachimura, the elementary school pitcher/catcher who was more fascinated with rubber baseballs and wooden bats than he was with steel rims and twine nets.
Baylor’s Makai Mason was seen limping during Thursday’s win over Syracuse, but the 6-foot-1 guard remains the Bears’ heart. He hit four 3-pointers and scored 22 points in the opening round.
Gonzaga is looking to battle with Baylor in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and look to combat their rebounding and 3-point shooting ability.
No. 9 seed Baylor, coming off a win over Syracuse in the opening round, knows they will have their hands full with a talented and No. 1 seeded Gonzaga team.