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Section 116
03-25-2017, 06:36 PM
Gonzaga is the first Division I men's team from state of Washington to reach the Final Four since Elgin Baylor led Seattle University to the 1958 national championship game.

More good stuff here: http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-basketball/news/ncaa-tournament-2017-three-reasons-beat-xavier/17e55gi6bta68ztx42gjcv1tf

gonzagafan62
03-25-2017, 06:37 PM
Take that huskies

RenoZag
03-25-2017, 06:41 PM
Sporting News: http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-basketball/news/xavier-gonzaga-ncaa-tournament-final-four-elite-eight-bulldogs-musketeers/1ieahccb255z812i4vwl37fybg


Gonzaga is an overlooked powerhouse in a forgotten conference, but they've made their way, though just barely over West Virginia, to the Elite Eight. This win should quiet the long-time low-conference bashers.

RenoZag
03-25-2017, 06:43 PM
ESPN: Top Seeded Gonzaga. . .Routs Xavier ( Includes AP Wire Story + Video )

http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/recap?gameId=400948652


Gonzaga (36-1) has been dogged by criticism through the years despite winning consistently, in part for playing in a weak conference but also for never making the Final Four.

On the cusp of history, the Zags took it head on with a superb all-around game to give coach Mark Few the one missing piece of his resume.

Gonzaga found the range from the perimeter after struggling the first three NCAA games, making 12 of 24 from 3-point range. The defense, a soft spot in the past, shut down the underdog and 11th-seeded Musketeers (24-14) to win the West Region.

The Zags will face the winner between South Carolina and Florida in next week's Final Four in Arizona.

TexasZagFan
03-25-2017, 07:00 PM
Do we want a rematch with Florida?

Birddog
03-25-2017, 07:13 PM
Do we want a rematch with Florida?

I want no part of S Car and coach Martin.

Section 116
03-25-2017, 07:20 PM
http://www.espn.com/espn/wire?section=ncb&id=19004906

Hoopaholic
03-25-2017, 07:22 PM
I want no part of S Car and coach Martin.

Bring em on......no inside game to match ours

RenoZag
03-25-2017, 07:26 PM
http://www.espn.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/119059/gonzaga-rides-offensive-flood-to-first-ever-final-four


With 20 minutes of season-defining basketball still to come, his team was already drowning in Gonzaga's relentless offensive flood.

The flood never stopped.

Gonzaga is headed to its first Final Four after an 83-59 victory Saturday in the West Regional, and whereas the Zags reached the precipice of that accomplishment with Thursday's grounded, defensive holdout against West Virginia, the final breakthrough came in a fiery supernova of buckets.

Against a tricky, shifting Musketeers defense that dominated Florida State and held Arizona scoreless for the final three minutes of Xavier's Sweet 16 win, Gonzaga scored 83 points in 71 possessions. The team shot 12-of-24 from 3.

The Musketeers executed their own plan on the offensive end in the first half, hammering the ball at the rim at every opportunity, and got 39 points in 35 possessions against the nation's stingiest per-possession defense. But they made just one 3 in the first 20 minutes -- Macura's miracle heave would have been the second -- and went to the locker room down 10. Gonzaga had already made eight 3s.

Section 116
03-25-2017, 07:35 PM
There's a lot of good stuff here, but scroll down to Sean Farnham as he describes how the community is all in on the Zags:

http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/

Radbooks
03-25-2017, 07:36 PM
A link to Bud Withers' newest column:

http://en.bloguru.com/GloryHounds/295364/zags-and-few-make-magic

RenoZag
03-25-2017, 08:12 PM
A link to Bud Withers' newest column:

http://en.bloguru.com/GloryHounds/295364/zags-and-few-make-magic


It would have been possible for Gonzaga to freeze in the moment, and indeed, when Perkins threw a lazy bounce pass on GU’s first possession, hijacked and dunked by Xavier, it was briefly ominous. But shortly, Perkins threw in a couple of threes, and his teammates joined him, and Gonzaga seemed to be playing free and easy and mostly enjoying the whole afternoon.

They didn’t defend much in the first half, getting beat off the bounce, which caused their big men to get in foul trouble. So Few and Co. dusted off a zone defense, which the Zags had employed rarely this year (but had also trotted out against West Virginia). And it seemed to work.

Along the way, Gonzaga limited one of the tournament’s sensations, Trevon Bluiett, to a mere 10 points on 3-of-14 shooting.

In the end, the Zags made 12 of 24 threes, when they were just 16 of 56 in the tournament’s first three games. They looked a lot like the team that was the rage of January and most of February.

It was a credit to a lot of people, none more than Mark Few. After all the brickbats, he's due a few bouquets.


...

RenoZag
03-25-2017, 08:14 PM
Andy Katz:


So cool to see Gonzaga make the Final Four after being there for the beginning of this run in 1999 in Seattle and Phoenix. Mark Few hasn't changed from when he was an assistant to now. What a win for the Zag players from Santangelo to Karnowski and everyone in between.

CdAZagFan
03-25-2017, 08:26 PM
There's a lot of good stuff here, but scroll down to Sean Farnham as he describes how the community is all in on the Zags:

http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/

Really good stuff from Farnham...

ZagMan in Philly
03-25-2017, 08:37 PM
Bring em on......no inside game to match ours

Agree on this. We are a very balance team with Great D!!

RenoZag
03-25-2017, 08:40 PM
JWIII named most outstanding player of the Region.

Jordan and Nigel made the All-Regional team

per Jim Meehan's twitter feed

Congratulations !

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/mar/25/johnathan-williams-was-the-best-in-the-west/

RenoZag
03-25-2017, 08:59 PM
Jacob Thorpe

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/mar/25/xavier-dares-gonzaga-to-shoot-zags-happily-oblige/


SAN JOSE, Calif. – Xavier had a defensive game plan against Gonzaga: Let the Bulldogs shoot 3-pointers.

The Zags were happy to go along with the dare, making 8-of-13 from behind the arc in the first half and shooting 50-percent from out there for the game.

To be fair, Musketeers coach Chris Mack had reasons to think the Zags would not connect at such a blistering pace. The Bulldogs made just 16-of-56 3-point attempts during their first three NCAA Tournament games. Zags not named Jordan Mathews made just 7-of-31.

“A couple of their guys shot a lot better percentage from 3 than they’re accustomed to,” Mack said. He also said, “A team that’s 290th in the country relying on 3-point shots goes 12-for-24, 50 percent from the 3-point line.”

Xavier guard Malcom Bernard admitted, “Part of the game plan was to keep the floor tight. We wanted them to take those shots.”

RenoZag
03-25-2017, 09:02 PM
Vince Grippi's TV Take Column: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/mar/25/tv-take-nothing-not-even-that-pesky-monkey-gets-in/


No matter. Nothing was going to get in Gonzaga’s way this night.

Not Xavier’s leading scorer Trevon Bluiett, who finished eight points under his 18-point average on 3-of-14 shooting as Williams also was the point man in that regard.

Not Gonzaga’s bigs, Przemek Karnowski and Zach Collins, battling foul trouble all night.

And certainly not the young lady who found herself on national TV when Josh Perkins stole a pass with about 4 minutes left and thought he had an uncontested layup.

Except the member of the court cleanup crew was wiping down the key. And had to retreat faster than Xavier’s transition game.

Watching Perkins’ facial expression on replay, Webber thought Perkins must have been thinking, “wait, you’re playing defense?”

And Webber correctly pointed out “she’s going to be on the Internet all night.”

So will the Zags, at least if Clark Kellogg has the pulse of the nation correct.

“There are lot of people in the world of college basketball that are celebrating with this program,” he said in the postgame, “because they’ve seen them knock on the door (so often) and not quite get there.”

RenoZag
03-25-2017, 09:08 PM
A hardcover commemorative of the season will be available, according to the S-R:

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/mar/25/spokesman-review-and-pediment-partner-to-publish-h/


From the preseaon practices to a long run as the nation’s top-ranked team to the Bulldogs’ first-ever appearance in the Final Four, The Spokesman-Review has been with Gonzaga for the entire history-making journey.

With the largest group of reporters and photographers to ever cover the Zags, Spokane’s hometown newspaper is now partnering with book publisher Pediment to produce a 144-page, hardcover book. The season’s most amazing photos, game stories and columns, as well as profiles on key players, will make up this high-quality collector’s edition.

Pediment has published similar sports books with newspapers like the Los Angeles Times, Denver Post, Oregonian, New Jersey Star-Ledger, Arizona Republic, Charlotte Observer and Orlando Sentinel.

The pre-order cost for The Spokesman-Review’s in-depth look at Gonzaga’s breakthrough season is $24.95. When the book is released in May, it will then cost $34.95.

Radbooks
03-25-2017, 09:09 PM
The Seattle Times had a column from Larry Stone (http://www.seattletimes.com/sports/gonzaga-bulldogs/final-ly-gonzaga-breaks-through-to-the-final-four-eliminating-last-reason-people-had-to-discount-the-program/):


And now they’re legitimately great, no longer having to apologize for the conference they play in or the myth that they can’t win the big one. Xavier coach Chris Mack paid tribute to Gonzaga, lauding a defense that held one of the hottest teams in the tournament to 35.5 percent shooting, and an offense that can beat you from the outside if, as the Musketeers did, you try to take away the inside muscle of Karnowski and fellow 7-footer Zach Collins.

“Sometimes,’’ Mack said, “you just lose to a better team.”

RenoZag
03-25-2017, 09:47 PM
Cincy Enquirer: http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/college/xavier/2017/03/25/gonzaga-second-half-run-dooms-xavier-flips-script-with-zone-defense/99637528/


SAN JOSE, California – It took two minutes, 26 seconds for Gonzaga to stretch a 10-point halftime lead to 17. And though there was another 17:07 to play in the second half, that opening salvo by the top-seeded Zags essentially put the game out of reach.

The totality of Gonzaga’s 83-59 victory over No. 11 Xavier on Saturday at the SAP Center in the NCAA tournament's west regional final could be distilled down into that 2:26.

Post touch by 7-footer Przemek Karnowski, who buried a baby hook.

Post touch by Karnowski, who kicked it out to Nigel Williams-Goss on a hard double-team by Xavier. Williams-Goss then hit a 3 that circled around the rim several times before falling in.

Jordan Mathews hit a 3 off an offensive rebound by Josh Perkins.

Post touch by Karnowski, who missed, but Johnathan Williams came down the baseline for a tip-slam.

Goshzagit
03-25-2017, 09:53 PM
Jay Bilas posted this video in January, he called it.

http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=18517949

Section 116
03-25-2017, 09:59 PM
Reno posted one but there are some other articles at this link from the Cincinnati Enquirer: http://www.cincinnati.com/sports/xavier/

Spike94
03-25-2017, 10:05 PM
[QUOTE=RenoZag;1308142]A hardcover commemorative of the season will be available, according to the S-R:

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/mar/25/spokesman-review-and-pediment-partner-to-publish-h/[/QUOTE
I just order mine. It will be a really cool momento.

Section 116
03-25-2017, 10:10 PM
USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaab/2017/03/25/gonzaga-bulldogs-xavier-musketeers-elite-8-march-madness-ncaa-tournament-final-four/99629790/

RenoZag
03-25-2017, 10:32 PM
http://www.krem.com/news/local/spokane-county/best-social-media-posts-following-gonzagas-win/425616502

PNW Zagfan
03-25-2017, 10:43 PM
Mark Few is a class act...

"Trevon Bluiett couldn’t quite pull himself off the baseline at SAP Center, doubled over, jersey clenched in his teeth. The tears welled. He pulled up part of his jersey over his eyes as his Xavier University teammate and coaches slowly filed to half court in a handshake line.

Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few weaved his way between the gathering crowd on the court and made sure to find the Musketeers guard, and embraced him.

You’re a hell of a player. Probably the toughest I’ve had to game plan for."

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/college/xavier/2017/03/25/xavier-university-guard-trevon-bluiett-contained-by-gonzaga-defense/99635116/

RenoZag
03-25-2017, 10:51 PM
Matt Norlander: http://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/gonzagas-first-final-four-culminates-a-great-story-two-decades-in-the-making/


It’s also a banner day for the West Coast Conference, which last sent a team to the Final Four in 1957. That was San Francisco, which won the title the previous two years. Gonzaga, which has been the No. 1 team ranked at KenPom for almost two months, is capable of doing now what the Dons did then: win it all.

Saturday’s lopsided affair serves as a passing of the torch: Xavier could become the school regarded as the one in most need of its first Final Four appearance, the best program without a trip to the ultimate weekend in college basketball. If Chris Mack remains at his alma mater in the coming years, the Musketeers will have a terrific shot to make their own history.

Radbooks
03-25-2017, 11:20 PM
Another nice one from USA Today:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaab/2017/03/25/gonzaga-mark-few-reaches-final-four-at-last-march-madness/99638230/

MJ777
03-25-2017, 11:28 PM
Mark Few is a class act...

"Trevon Bluiett couldn’t quite pull himself off the baseline at SAP Center, doubled over, jersey clenched in his teeth. The tears welled. He pulled up part of his jersey over his eyes as his Xavier University teammate and coaches slowly filed to half court in a handshake line.

Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few weaved his way between the gathering crowd on the court and made sure to find the Musketeers guard, and embraced him.

You’re a hell of a player. Probably the toughest I’ve had to game plan for."

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/college/xavier/2017/03/25/xavier-university-guard-trevon-bluiett-contained-by-gonzaga-defense/99635116/


I hope the kid doesn't have to endure half the crap Adam did after his episode in 06.

PNW Zagfan
03-26-2017, 12:38 AM
I hope the kid doesn't have to endure half the crap Adam did after his episode in 06.

I couldn't help but think the same thing, which is unfortunate. The players put their heart and soul into their sport and shouldn't be criticized for emotion taking over when they fall short of their goals.

Zagger
03-26-2017, 04:02 AM
Sports Illustrated ....
http://www.si.com/college-basketball/2017/03/26/ncaa-tournament-gonzaga-xavier-final-four-mark-few
LUKE WINN
Sunday March 26th, 2017


SAN JOSE, Calif. — It could have been ephemeral. The Gonzaga phenomenon—now on the way to its first-ever Final Four—could have raged and faded in the span of two weeks of March 1999, as a No. 10 seed making its second-ever trip to the NCAA tournament. An upset of Minnesota, then No. 2 Stanford, then No. 5 Florida in the Sweet 16, with that classic Gus Johnson call after Casey Calvary's tip in with 4.4 seconds left: "Shannon from the cornerrrr … and it's over. Gonzaga! The slipper stillllll fits!" America's new darlings were knocked out two days later, their final, errant shot a driving, double-clutch layup by star guard Matt Santangelo in the face of UConn's front line in the Elite Eight. That off-season, their coach, Dan Monson, left Spokane for a major-conference job at Minnesota—and that is how most Cinderella stories end, with a coach leaving, and a program fading back into mid-major nowhere. But Mark Few, the then 36-year-old assistant who was promoted at Gonzaga, was insistent about one thing: "We didn't want to be a one-hit wonder."


And Mike Roth, the Gonzaga athletic director who arrived at the school in 1997, stood courtside on Saturday and told a fitting story about being in Phoenix for the '99 West Regional, when the program was just bursting on the national scene. The day after the Zags upset Stanford in the Sweet 16, their staff was summoned to a "transition meeting" with the NCAA, where each of the Elite Eight teams were briefed on all the plans they'd need to make for the Final Four.

"It was us and UConn," Roth said, "and we brought three people in polo shirts, and they brought 12 to the meeting, in suits. One of the committee members came up to me afterwards and said, 'Hey, Mike, by the way, if you guys win, you're going to need a lot of help.' We just had no idea, then, what we were getting into."

Zagger
03-26-2017, 04:22 AM
http://b.fssta.com/uploads/2017/03/usatsi_9970560.vadapt.767.high.0.jpg

http://www.foxsports.com/college-basketball/story/gonzaga-zags-bulldogs-final-four-makes-resounding-statement-berth-xavier-ncaa-tournament-032517


“I walked out there on the practice floor [in the preseason, and was like, we’ve never ever started with this many new people,” said Few, as far as meshing them together. “They deserve all the credit in the world, they’re as connected as any team we’ve had that’s played together for four years. We’ve had some classes that redshirted and stayed together for four years. These guys are every bit as connected as them.”

Zagger
03-26-2017, 04:36 AM
Some pretty darn good press out there ..... here's a sample from the New York Times:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/25/sports/ncaabasketball/gonzaga-xavier-west-final.html


“There’s no pro team; there’s no football team,” Perkins said of Spokane, Wash., home to Gonzaga. “We’re pretty much it. We’re the celebrities; we’re the role models. It’s fun, but you’ve got to win basketball games, or it’s not so good.”

On Perkins’s first day on campus, he was recognized at a Chipotle restaurant. That introduced him to the intensity of Gonzaga basketball fandom, which was on display not only at San Jose’s SAP Center — where fans packed several of the lower sections — but also back in Spokane. After the game, players in the locker room passed around a cellphone showing scenes of people there jumping around.

“Spokane’s lit!” someone shouted.

I sure know I'm lit! What a season! Perkins is a special Zag. How he's responded this whole year has certainly helped this team be ..... a whole team. These Zags add a bit more of a special meaning to the word 'team'.

Goshzagit
03-26-2017, 06:04 AM
Nice article by ESPN's Eamonn Brennan...

http://www.espn.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/119115/after-final-four-breakthrough-gonzagas-journey-not-over-yet


We had a plan for ourselves," Williams-Goss said. "We believed from day one, when we all stepped foot on this campus, that we could go to Phoenix."

It is hard to underplay the historic meaning of that accomplishment, even in the wake of this program's remarkable 18-year climb up the college basketball ladder.

Zagceo
03-26-2017, 06:46 AM
https://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/GHOCt7ZIKbO2zQT5o3SBSlFFcC4=/0x0:3036x2109/1420x947/filters:focal(695x485:1179x969)/cdn0.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/53899479/usa_today_9970712.0.jpg

RenoZag
03-26-2017, 08:25 AM
http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/2017/3/25/15062228/gonzaga-basketball-final-four-mark-few-wcc


It’s a near certainty that there will be more focus on and more words written about Gonzaga in the week to come than any other top seed (assuming another makes it) headed to Phoenix. There will be stories about big man Przemek Karnowski, about how the Bulldogs don’t look like your standard mid-major because of their power conference transfers, and about how the weight of the world is off head coach Mark Few’s shoulders.

What there won’t be, or at least what there shouldn’t be, are any more questions about validity, or any more demands for excessive proof. Some who have dug themselves too deeply into an anti-Gonzaga hole to claw their way out now will point to the Zags playing an 11 seed in a regional final as justification for continued doubt. They’ll write those stories and hit send while pretending to not feel the evidence that is repeatedly smacking them in the face.

Gonzaga is 36-1. It earned the No. 1 seed it will carry into its first Final Four, and if it wins two more games, it will earn its assigned title of being the best college basketball team in the United States.

ZagDaddy
03-26-2017, 08:28 AM
The NCAA highlight ree (http://www.ncaa.com/video/basketball-men/2017-03-25/mbk-502-gonzaga-xavier-elite-eight)l from yesterday has the announcer repeating "Gunzahga" the entire time. OMG! There's no excuse for this at this point. :argh:

Zagger
03-26-2017, 08:46 AM
A bit on Mt. K.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaab/2017/03/25/gonzaga-przemek-karnowski-record-135-wins/99637648/
Gonzaga's Przemek Karnowski completes the climb .....


Hampered by early foul trouble Saturday, he scored just five points and grabbed just three rebounds in the most important game of his career. But teammate Jordan Mathews, a senior guard, said there was no doubt about which player would get the privilege to climb up that ladder first.

“Most valuable player on our team, hands down,’’ Mathews said of the big, bearded center. “He had to go first.’’

Zagger
03-26-2017, 08:54 AM
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2017/03/26/basketball/final-four-excitement-sinks-gonzaga-trailblazer-hachimura/#.WNfjORLyu34
Final Four excitement sinks in for Gonzaga trailblazer Hachimura

“I was sent out to the court in the last minute. My body was stiff and I thought I couldn’t do anything,” said Hachimura, who is understood to be the first player with Japanese citizenship to play in the NCAA Tournament. “But I got a pass and had to shoot before the clock wound down, and it just went in.”

“He’s going to be a big-time player for this team,” junior point guard Nigel Williams-Goss said of Hachimura. “You just see his natural ability, raw talent. We have all the confidence in the world in him. When he comes in, we expect him to play well.”

That's pretty sweet to get a 3 in the Elite 8. Rui's very likely to have a spiffy time as a Zag @ GU. The kid is fearless!

RenoZag
03-26-2017, 08:58 AM
Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/gonzaga-breaks-through-at-last-earns-first-trip-to-final-four/2017/03/25/e402f820-119c-11e7-9d5a-a83e627dc120_story.html?utm_term=.c8ef1025e820


This wasn’t the first time the Bulldogs entered the NCAA tournament with a flashy record (32-1 on Selection Sunday). And this was far from the first time Gonzaga had a team thought to be capable of making the Final Four, only to keep falling short. Why should this team be any different?

Saturday, the Zags forcefully proved they were with an 83-59 thumping of Xavier in the West Region final, a win that gave the program its first trip to the Final Four. It was a win that came courtesy of a disparate cast of characters: Mark Few, the dapper, mild-mannered coach who had presided over the program’s ascent into national consciousness; Przemek Karnowski, a burly, bearded center from Poland; Nigel Williams-Goss, Jordan Mathews and Johnathan Williams, transfers from Washington, California and Missouri respectively; and Zach Collins, a highly touted freshman expected to be a first-round pick in June’s NBA draft.

RenoZag
03-26-2017, 09:01 AM
San Jose Mercury News: Jon Wilner game story: http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/03/25/gonzaga-thumps-xavier-advances-to-final-four/


Point guard Nigel Williams-Goss led Gonzaga with 23 points, while forward Johnathan Williams added 19 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. Wing Jordan Mathews added 11.

All three transferred to Gonzaga — Williams-Goss arrived from Washington, Mathews from Cal, Williams from Missouri — hoping to experience this moment.

“We had a plan for ourselves,” Williams-Goss said.

“We believed from day one, when we all stepped foot on campus, that we could go to (the Final Four). We didn’t shy away from setting that goal.”

After the trophy presentation, Few addressed the thousands of Gonzaga fans in attendance and asked them to let out a roar.

The response rattled ears and echoed back through time.

RenoZag
03-26-2017, 09:04 AM
San Jose Mercury News' Mark Purdy:

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/03/25/purdy-gonzaga-makes-west-coast-history-by-reaching-final-four-and-rivets-poland-in-the-process/


That’s not a problem in a certain European country, where basketball fans are staying awake every time Gonzaga plays. Poland is the home nation of 7-foot-1 Bulldogs center Przemek Karnowski, who controls the paint and facilitates the offense for point-producers Johnathan Williams and Nigel Williams-Goss. They’ve all got many followers back in Karnowski’s homeland who postpone their bedtimes to watch his team live on streaming television.

“Today’s game was at 11:10 p.m.,” Karnowski said. “I know a lot of people are watching. They know what the NCAA tournament is. They know what the Final Four is.”

“Polish dogs are served and pretty strong beer,” Few said. “They have a good time at 11 p.m. watching Gonzaga.”

So maybe we can annex Warsaw and Krakow as honorary West Coast cities for the next week.

CdAZagFan
03-26-2017, 09:07 AM
Great to see Rui get some action in the tourney... Hopefully he sees many more tourney games in his career at GU.

RenoZag
03-26-2017, 09:08 AM
S.F. Chronicle's Ron Kroichick: http://www.sfchronicle.com/collegesports/article/Gonzaga-crushes-Xavier-rolls-into-Final-Four-11028096.php


Gonzaga is going to the Final Four.

Those words, an utterly preposterous concept when Few joined the school’s coaching staff 28 years ago, became reality Saturday in San Jose. The Bulldogs, after nearly two decades as a rising power and perpetual NCAA Tournament tease, steamed past Xavier 83-59 in the West Regional final at SAP Center.

So with the outcome decided and Gonzaga’s throng of fans roaring, Few let down his guard. He’s typically stoic and businesslike, the even-handed leader of a hoops machine with a 187-29 record over the past six seasons.

Now, after all these years of winning and winning and winning — but not reaching college basketball’s mecca — it really was happening. Few exulted and cried, all at once.

“Absolute tears of joy,” he said of his emotions at that moment.

Zags_Fanatic
03-26-2017, 09:20 AM
Mark Titus from the Ringer: https://theringer.com/gonzaga-and-oregon-are-in-the-final-four-because-of-their-balance-bf52d455219c#.wgknzh1qt

RenoZag
03-26-2017, 10:14 AM
http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/mar/26/gonzaga-basketball-fans-greet-team-on-campus-after/

Includes photos and video of players. The crowd was going nuts !!

RenoZag
03-26-2017, 10:23 AM
Great column from John Blanchette: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/mar/25/john-blanchette-gonzaga-has-earned-those-tears-tur/

( Accompanying photo gallery too )


SAN JOSE, Calif. – When he saw the subs being sent to the scorer’s table – the basketball valedictory – the emotions finally burst inside of Nigel Williams-Goss. He sprinted to a corner where the sideline met the half-court line, squatted and rested his head in his hands.

When he came up, there were tears in his eyes.

The new tears of Gonzaga basketball.

The old ones – the ones Adam Morrison shed just up the road in Oakland a decade back – can be retired now. They were the uncorked despair of a competitor who simply wanted to win so much and saw it snatched away, and for the snark artists who work the back alleys of sports it was the easiest thing in the world to use the image to dismiss and demean.


“I’m a mess,” said Santangelo, whose 1999 Gonzaga team first got to the Final Four threshold without crossing and who worked this game on radio. “I did the last 10 minutes of the game in tears. There are so many people in the history of the program who are celebrating this – and coach Few has kept us all together to feel like we’re a part of it.”

Forgotten locally and simply ignored by the Zagtagonists out there, the context of those beyond-humble roots and how it makes the program’s story – and this latest achievement – even more incredible is better understood by basketball people. The Final Four breakthroughs of under-the-radar programs like VCU and George Mason were great stories, but temporary thrills.

RenoZag
03-26-2017, 10:27 AM
Stewart Mandel, Fox Sports: http://www.foxsports.com/college-basketball/story/gonzaga-zags-bulldogs-final-four-makes-resounding-statement-berth-xavier-ncaa-tournament-032517


While their coach of 18 years insisted there was never a monkey on his back, hammering it into his players that a Final Four does not define one’s season, the reality is that to most college basketball fans, it does.

“We believed from day one, when we all stepped foot on this campus, that we could go to Phoenix,” Gonzaga star Nigel Williams-Goss said. “We didn’t shy away from setting that goal.

And to all those memorable ’Zags of years past — from Matt Santangelo and Richie Frahm to Ronny Turiaf and Adam Morrison; Robert Sacre and Elias Harris to Gary Bell and Kevin Pangos — let there be no mistaking the magnitude of the current group’s feat.

“As the clock was running out, I started to lose it,” Mike Roth, Gonzaga’s athletics director since 1997, said. “The emotion of this moment is indescribable.”

jazzdelmar
03-26-2017, 10:28 AM
The NCAA highlight ree (http://www.ncaa.com/video/basketball-men/2017-03-25/mbk-502-gonzaga-xavier-elite-eight)l from yesterday has the announcer repeating "Gunzahga" the entire time. OMG! There's no excuse for this at this point. :argh:

Hold on now, Few kept calling the opponent "Ex-za-vi-er," so what's good for the goose.....

MontanaCoyote
03-26-2017, 10:29 AM
http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/mar/26/gonzaga-basketball-fans-greet-team-on-campus-after/

Includes photos and video of players. The crowd was going nuts !!

Damn, Ain't this great! We really have arrived! We could read about the Zag's all day with much more coming this week.
RECOGNITION! R-E-S-P-E-C-T ! We Have It ! We Won It ! We Earned It !

MontanaCoyote
03-26-2017, 10:38 AM
http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/mar/26/gonzaga-basketball-fans-greet-team-on-campus-after/

Includes photos and video of players. The crowd was going nuts !!

Thanks A Ton, Reno ! Man, watching these kids, players and fans, having so much fun is sooooooooo great! Brought tears to this old man's eyes!

And look of that pic of Few straight on into the camera. No monkey on his back!

MontanaCoyote
03-26-2017, 10:47 AM
A bit on Mt. K.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaab/2017/03/25/gonzaga-przemek-karnowski-record-135-wins/99637648/
Gonzaga's Przemek Karnowski completes the climb .....

No less than The Center Of It All !

RenoZag
03-26-2017, 11:00 AM
Hold on now, Few kept calling the opponent "Ex-za-vi-er," so what's good for the goose.....

Well, if Xavier ever makes it to a FF, maybe fans and coaches will get it right. . .

23dpg
03-26-2017, 11:13 AM
Hold on now, Few kept calling the opponent "Ex-za-vi-er," so what's good for the goose.....

You're right Jazz. I blame this guy.
http://www.nba.com/media/sonics/mcdaniel_140.jpg

sittingon50
03-26-2017, 11:48 AM
http://en.bloguru.com/GloryHounds/295364/zags-and-few-make-magic

RenoZag
03-26-2017, 11:55 AM
From the NCAA: The Zags Road to the Final Four: http://www.ncaa.com/news/basketball-men/article/2017-03-26/how-they-reached-final-four-gonzaga-bulldogs

Includes video highlights from the four tourney games

DixieZag
03-26-2017, 12:30 PM
http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/2017/3/25/15062228/gonzaga-basketball-final-four-mark-few-wcc

This just in;

From a couple of commenters (not a majority) on SB.

We played 4 tough games all year, got a gift number one seed, and had "by far, by far" the easiest path to the Final Four - and we needed the refs to beat Northwestern and actually lost to WVU except for a fluke. We're a joke that stumbled through 4 pretty easy tournament games to the Final Four.

Goal posts moved. I wonder if Florida State of the vaunted ACC thought they had it "easy" in their 25 pt defeat to Xavier, or if Arizona thought they had it "easy" when they got pushed by SMC and then couldn't score when needed to beat Xavier. I guess it only got easy when we beat Xavier by 24. Stumbling our way, indeed. (Oh, and not one team, not a single team in that tournament, wanted to play West Virginia - and we won, scoreboard says.)

There's a gold mine of Schadenfreude to be enjoyed in comment sections all over. I especially love it when the "realistic" non-Zag fans point out to the haters things like the KenPom stats this year, or even last year's 11 seed beating a 6 and 3 seed, and a minute from the Elite 8. The barrel, so small, fish just so big ....

Until this year, I had no idea how much GU hate existed out there.

RenoZag
03-26-2017, 12:43 PM
NCAA March Madness News Site: Zags Starter Take Unique Road to Final Four

From AP writer Ron Bloom http://www.ncaa.com/news/basketball-men/article/2017-03-26/march-madness-gonzagas-starters-take-unique-road-first-final


Next weekend, they'll all be in Glendale, Arizona. At 36-1, Gonzaga has become a national power.

"Basically, we've had about five or seven minutes of not very good basketball," he said, referring to a 79-71 lost last month. "We got away from what we've done against BYU, or we'd be looking at 37-0 right now."

RenoZag
03-26-2017, 02:19 PM
The Slipper Still Fits: 10 Observations http://www.slipperstillfits.com/2017/3/26/15066656/2017-ncaa-tournament-10-observations-from-gonzaga-xavier-elite-eight




I don’t blame Chris Mack for going with the 1-3-1 zone in the first half to clog the paint. Xavier had to make a choice in what it would concede to Gonzaga, and the zone gave the Zags enough space on the perimeter to get off clean looks. Considering how poorly Gonzaga had been shooting the ball from the three-point line for the last few games, it’s not surprising Chris Mack rolled the dice and dared Gonzaga to hit jump shots. Fortunately, the Zags recaptured their collective shooting strokes in time and took advantage. Once Gonzaga found a rhythm on the perimeter, Xavier had to extend out to the line and contest which allowed the bigs to play straight up on the inside. At that point the game was over.


Xavier looked to push the pace every chance it got in order to mitigate Gonzaga’s size, but this played right into Gonzaga’s hands. The Zags are at their best in an uptempo game, and are much more comfortable on offense in a wide-open game (they are 36th in the country in average offensive possession length). Considering how limited offensive opportunities were against West Virginia, the style of play in the Elite 8 must have felt like cold water on a hot summer’s day.