Bulldogs Head For Memphis To Face Cavaliers
March 13, 2001
Game No. 31 - University of Virginia
Friday, March 16 - 9:25 a.m. PST
NCAA South Region First Round
The Pyramid - Memphis, TN
Radio: KXLY 920 AM 25 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: CBS-TV (Coverage Area TBA)
#12 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (24-6, 13-1 in West Coast Conference)
#5 UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA CAVALIERS (20-8, 9-7 in ACC)
BULLDOGS FACE VIRGINIA OF ACC: Gonzaga University found out its NCAA fate on Sunday - not if they would play but who and where they would play. The answer came when the Bulldogs, West Coast Conference regular-season and WCC Tournament champions, drew the 12th seed in the South Region in Memphis, TN. The Bulldogs will face No. 5 seed University of Virginia (20-9) of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The winner of the Gonzaga-Virginia contest will face the winner of fourth-seeded Oklahoma University and 13th seeded Indiana State University in Sunday's second round.
EARLY TIP: It will be "Breakfast With The Bulldogs" for fans on the West Coast wishing to follow the fortunes of Gonzaga University. Tipoff Friday is 9:25 a.m. PST (11:25 CST). The game will be aired on CBS-TV, although the coverage area for the Gonzaga-University of Virginia game won't be known until later in the week. KXLY 920 AM will also broadcast the game on radio in Spokane, and the game can also be heard on the web at www.gozags.com.
GONZAGA AND THE ACC IN THE NCAA: Friday's game between Gonzaga University and the University of Virginia will be the first meeting between the schools. But the Bulldogs aren't strangers to the Atlantic Coast Conference in the NCAA Tournament. Gonzaga made it's inaugural appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 1995 as a 14 seed, facing third-seed University of Maryland and Player of the Year Joe Smith in the first round in Salt Lake City, UT. The Terrapins shook the pesky Bulldogs mid-way through the second half for an 87-63 victory.
BULLDOGS IN NCAA TOURNAMENT: Gonzaga University is making it's third straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament and their fourth appearance overall. The Bulldogs first went dancin' in 1995, winning the West Coast Conference Tournament as the No. 4 seed and earning the automatic berth. The Bulldogs were a 14th seed and fell to No. 3 seed University of Maryland in the first round in Salt Lake City, UT. Gonzaga has been a 10th seed each of the past two seasons.
HAT TRICK: Gonzaga University is only the second team since the current alignment of the West Coast Conference to advance to three straight NCAA Tournaments. The Bulldogs became the first team in WCC history to win three straight WCC Tournament titles. Loyola Marymount is the only other team to go to three straight NCAA Tournaments since the current formation of the WCC for the 1979-80 season. LMU went to three straight NCAA Tournaments from 1988-90, but the Lions were awarded the league's automatic berth in '90 when the remainder of the WCC tourney was cancelled following the second-round death of LMU's Hank Gathers.
CALVARY CRACKS TOURNEY TOP 10: Casey Calvary's 42 points in this year's West Coast Conference Tournament moved the Gonzaga University senior into 9th place on the all-time WCC Tournament scoring list with 136. Among those he passed was former Santa Clara University standout and current NBA performer Steve Nash who had 117 for 10th.
CALVARY ON WOODEN AWARD FINAL BALLOT: Gonzaga University senior forward Casey Calvary is on the Top 20 final ballot for the John R. Wooden Award. The final ballot was released March 1. Calvary was originally one of the Pre-season Top 50 candidates for the 2000-01 Wooden Award All-American Team. On March 27, 2001, the 10-player Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced. One member of the Wooden Award All-American Team will be selected on Friday April 6, 2001 as the recipient of the Wooden Award Trophy as the nation's "Most Outstanding Collegiate Basketball Player of the Year." The event will be a one hour telecast on FOX Sports Net. This is the second straight year the Bulldogs have had a Wooden Award nominee, guard Matt Santangelo getting the nomination a year ago.
FEW'S TWO-YEAR RUN: Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few has had two of the best rookie and sophomore seasons in NCAA history. The Bulldogs' 26 wins last year ranked him tied for 7th for "Top 10 Career Starts For Head Coaches By Victories." His 2-year total of 50 wins has him tied for 6th for second-year coaches with such notables as UCLA's Gary Cunningham, the University of Idaho's Kermit Davis and Tulsa University's Nolan Richardson, all with 50 wins in their first two seasons.
BULLDOGS HIT 20 WINS AGAIN: With a 24-6 record, Gonzaga University has hit the 20-win plateau for the 8th time in the last 10 seasons. The Bulldogs' 26 wins last season were second all-time behind only the 1999 school record mark of 28-7. This year marks the fifth time the Bulldogs have hit the magic 20-win plateau in the regular season. The 1994 squad took a 20-6 record into the West Coast Conference Tournament, the 1998 team was 21-8 entering the tourney, the 1999 Bulldogs went 22-6 in the regular season and the 2000 squad was 21-8 heading into the WCC Tournament. Gonzaga's first 20-win season as a NCAA Division I program came in 1992 with a 20-10 mark, falling to Pepperdine University 73-70 in the Bulldogs' first appearance in the WCC Tournament title game.
BULLDOGS IN THE KENNEL: The Kennel - home of Gonzaga University's Bulldogs - has gained the reputation as one of the toughest courts in the country. In the last nine seasons the Bulldogs are 115-9 at home for a nifty 92.7 winning percentage. The Bulldogs have put the finishing touches on a 12-0 home record this season, winning by an average of 24.7 ppg. The Bulldogs are 32-1 in The Kennel over the past three seasons. Last year's squad was 10-1, and the 1999 Bulldogs completed a 10-0 season in The Kennel, winning by an average of 31.9 ppg. The Bulldogs also posted undefeated home campaigns in 1993 (13-0) and 1994 (14-0), and suffered just one home setback in 1996 and 1998. The Bulldogs put together a 34-game home-court-winning streak from 1992-95, which at the time was the country's second-longest active streak.
SCOUTING THE CAVALIERS: The University of Virginia is ranked 15th in this week's ESPN/USA TODAY Coaches Poll, down three spots from last week. The Cavaliers were ranked 12th in last week's Associated Press Top 25. Virginia was picked to finish fifth in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season, finished fourth and lost in the quarterfinals to fifth-seeded Georgia Tech 74-69. All five Cavaliers' starters average in double figures, led by the 15.2 ppg of 6-5 sophomore guard Roger Mason Jr. Mason has led the Cavs in scoring in four of their last five games. Virginia (20-8, 9-7 in the ACC) hit the 20-win plateau for the first time since the 1995 season, going 25-9 that season and advancing to the finals of the Midwest Regional. Virginia went 14-1 at home this season - the loss a 73-68 setback to Georgia Tech. The Cavaliers were not quite as good away from University Hall, going 5-6 in "true" away games, 1-1 on neutral-court outings.
COACHING COMPARISONS: There's a stark contrast in the coaching careers of Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few and University of Virginia mentor Pete Gillen. Few is in his second year as a head coach, Gillen his 16th. Few is 50-15 in his two seasons at Gonzaga, Gillen 327-164 in his 16 seasons on the sidelines. Few has been in the collegiate coaching profession 12 years. Gillen has been in the business for 26 seasons.
CALVARY MOVES INTO TOP 10 IN SCORING... Senior forward Casey Calvary has become the 22nd player in Gonzaga University history to surpass the 1,000-point barrier, entering the NCAA Tournament with 1,452 points, overtaking Doug Spradley (1,427 from 1986-89) for 9th and moving into t a tie with Gary Lechman (1,452 from 1965-67) for 8th. Calvary needs 56 points to move past Rich Evans (1,507 from 1947-50) and into 7th.
...AND SURPASSES 700 REBOUNDS: Casey Calvary became just the fourth player in Gonzaga University history to join the 1,000-point/700-rebound club. He grabbed 7 rebounds against Monmouth University on Dec. 30, 2000, to join the 600 rebound club, and hauled in 6 rebounds Feb. 22, 2001, at Santa Clara University to surpass the 700 mark. He has 727 rebounds the NCAA Tournament to rank fourth on the all-time list. Jerry Vermillion (1,547 points/1,670 rebounds), Gary Lechman (1,452/910) and Greg Sten (1,168/783) are the other three members of the 1,000 points/700 rebounds club.
BLOCK PARTY: With three blocks against Santa Clara University on Jan. 25, 2001, Casey Calvary became the most prolific shot blocker in West Coast Conference history with 186. With 41 this season, Calvary now has 201 in his career to tie for the all-time WCC lead with current University of San Francisco shot block artist Hondre Brewer. Brewer had 201 after his seven blocks in USF's WCC Tournament first-round loss. Calvary is by far the all-time leader in GU history (Tim Ruff is second with 99). Calvary and Brewer set the WCC Tournament record this season with 7 blocks. Brewer's 7 blocks in the Dons' first-round loss was both a WCC Tournament and a WCC Tournament single-game record.
BULLDOGS WIN 18-OF-19: Gonzaga University enters the NCAA Tournament having won 18 of its last 19 outings. The Bulldogs' 14-game winning streak, which was tied with Hofstra University for the longest current winning streak in NCAA Division I, was halted with their loss at Santa Clara University the final week of the regular season. The 14-game streak bettered the Bulldogs' 11-game streak set late last year. The setback also prevented the Bulldogs from going undefeated in West Coast Conference play for the first time in their 22-year WCC membership. The last WCC team to go 14-0 was Pepperdine University in 1992, also the last year a WCC team won at least 13 conference games. The Bulldogs, nonetheless, came back to defeat the University of San Diego in the regular-season finale to set a school record for WCC wins with 13. Twice the Bulldogs have gone 12-2 in winning the WCC regular-season title - 1999 and 1994.
COMPARING THE BULLDOGS, CAVS: On paper, Gonzaga University and the University of Virginia are evenly matched. The Cavaliers hold the edge in scoring by a slim 2.1 ppg, have a slightly higher rebounding average than Gonzaga and average 2.0 more steals per game than the Bulldogs. But Gonzaga has a big edge in field goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage and blocks. Gonzaga has committed 0.4 more turnovers/game than the Cavs.
CALVARY, DICKAU GARNER MORE HONORS: Gonzaga University senior Casey Calvary has been named to the All-District 14 first team and junior Dan Dickau was a second-team selection as selected by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
ALL-ACADEMIC ACCOLADES: Gonzaga University junior point guard Dan Dickau was named to the Verizon All-Academic first team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Dickau and backcourt mate Blake Stepp were also named to the West Coast Conference All-Academic squad. Dickau has a 3.33 grade points average in broadcast studies, Stepp a 3.49 GPA in sports management.
BULLDOGS WIN 200TH: Gonzaga University's win at the University of Montana earlier this year was the 200th for the Bulldogs in the last 10 seasons. Gonzaga is 219-89 since the 1991-92 season for a .711 winning percentage.
NCAA EXPERIENCE: Four members of this Gonzaga University team have NCAA Tournament experience under their belts. Seniors Casey Calvary and Mark Spink will be appearing in their third straight NCAA Tournament, sophomore Zach Gourde will be playing in his second after redhsirting during Gonzaga's Elite Eight run in 1999 and point guard Dan Dickau was a freshman at the University of Washington when the Huskies lost to the University of Connecticut at the buzzer in the Sweet Sixteen of the '98 tourney. Washington, the 11th seed, upet No. 6 Xavier University and toppled No. 14 Richmond University on the way to the Sweet Sixteen. Dickau was sidelined with a heel injury in 1999 when No. 7 Washington was upset by No. 10 Miami, Ohio, in the first round. Calvary is averaging 111.3 ppg and 7.0 rpg in seven NCAA Tournament games, Spink is averaging 3.0 ppg and 3.0 rpg in seven games and Gourde is averaging 2.3 ppg and 2.7 rpg in three tournament games a year ago.
TATTOOS AND SUPERSTITIONS: Gonzaga University players sport some classy tattoos and also have a few superstitions. Alex Hernandez is the most tattooed Bulldog with a cross and a praying hand on his right arm, and a "Cuba's Finest" and a basketball with his first name adorning his right arm. "The cross and praying hand are for religious reasons and good luck, Cuba's Finest speaks for itself," Hernandez said. The only other tattooed player is Anthony Reason, who sports a panther on his left arm. Dan Dickau, Cory Violette and Germayne Forbes all say a pre-game prayer as part of their ritual. Dickau says his during the national anthem, Violette says his prayer in the locker room and Forbes does his praying during the pre-game stretch and again during the national anthem. Jay Sherrell sticks his gum on his chair and must sit on the same chair throughout the game "unless coach calls me down to sit next to him and then I make an exception," Sherrell laughed.
DANNY BOY: Think junior point guard Dan Dickau hasn't been an important cog in Gonzaga University's 24-6 record and 13-1 West Coast Conference mark? Think again. The Bulldogs are 19-2 with Dickau in the lineup, 5-4 without him. He missed nine games prior to the start of West Coast Conference play with a broken left index finger. He was averaging 16.0 ppg and 5.0 assists/game through the first four games of the season at the time of his injury. Since his return he is averaging 18.9 ppg, 6.9 assists/game and has a 1.9 assist-to-turnover ratio in 17 games.
O-FER FROM THREE: The last time Gonzaga University took the collar from 3-point range was in an 0-for-5 night in The Kennel against the University of Portland on Jan. 30, 1993, a 71-53 Gonzaga victory. Gonzaga has made a 3-point field goal in 262 straight games. Gonzaga made a school record 291 treys in 1999.
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