No. 10 Bulldogs Face No. 7 Louisville Thursday in NCAA Tournament
March 14, 2000
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (24-8, 11-3 in West Coast Conference)
UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE (19-11, 10-6 in Conference USA)
BULLDOGS DRAW 10th SEED AGAIN: For the second straight year, Gonzaga University will enter the NCAA Tournament as the 10th seed in the West, and the Bulldogs are hoping the New Millennium will be as successful as the old. Last season the Bulldogs were also the 10th seed in the West, upsetting No. 7 University of Minnesota, No. 2 Stanford University and No. 6 University of Florida on their way to the Elite Eight. Gonzaga lost in the West Regional finale to top seed and eventual national champion University of Connecticut.
GONZAGA VERSUS TRADITION: Gonzaga University is making just its third NCAA Tournament appearance (1995 and '99 the others), while the University of Louisville is in the tourney for the 29th time. Gonzaga lost in the first round to the University of Maryland in 1995. The Cardinals, meanwhile, have made 21 appearances in the Sweet 16, been to seven Final Fours and won NCAA championships in 1980 and 1986. Gonzaga's NCAA Tournament record is 3-2.
GONZAGA VS. CONFERENCE USA: Gonzaga University is 3-4 against Conference USA membership, although this will be the first meeting between the Bulldogs and the University of Louisville. The Bulldogs are 1-0 against the University of Memphis (88-73 in the first round of the Chase NIT last season in The Pyramid) and Marquette University, 1-3 against DePaul University, and 0-1 against the University of Cincinnati. Gonzaga dropped a 75-68 decision to Cincinnati this season in the Rock 'n Roll Shootout in Cleveland, OH.
COMMON FOE: The University of Cincinnati was a common opponent for Gonzaga University and the University of Louisville. The Bulldogs fell to the Bearcats 75-68 on a neutral floor in Cleveland, OH. The Cardinals dropped a 75-65 decision in Freedom Hall and a 68-59 contest at Cincy.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Gonzaga University won the West Coast Conference Tournament after finishing second during the regular season. The University of Louisville earned an at-large berth after falling to UNC Charlotte 57-52 in the first round of the Conference USA Tournament at The Pyramid in Memphis, TN.
NILSON SIDELINED FOR SEASON: Gonzaga University senior guard Mike Nilson, the West Coast Conference Defender of the Year, has been sidelined for the remainder of the season with a ruptured right Achilles tendon. Nilson suffered the injury five minutes into the Bulldogs' West Coast Conference Tournament opening-round win over Saint Mary's College when he started to drive from the left wing. He planted his right foot and crumbled to the ground, untouched, in obvious pain. Nilson had surgery March 8, with rehabilitation to take approximately one year.
SANTANGELO GETS THE RECORD: Senior guard Matt Santangelo got the much-anticipated school career assists record when he handed out five assists against the University of San Francisco on Jan. 13 for the 555th in his career to break John Stockton's mark of 554 set from 1981-84. Santangelo's record-breaking assist was an inbound pass to Ryan Floyd who drained a 3-pointer from the left corner with 16:23 to go in the game, Santangelo's lone second-half assist. Santangelo now has 652 career assists for fourth all-time in the West Coast Conference. USF's Orlando Smart holds the WCC mark with 902. With 209 assists this season, Santangelo also broke Stockton's single-season record of 201 set in 1984. Santangelo had 184 assists last year. He has also moved into 10th on the WCC single-season list, moving ahead of Smart's 204 in 1994.
SANTANGELO TIES SCHOOL RECORD: Senior guard Matt Santangelo matched the single-game school assists record of 13 at Loyola Marymount University. The record was set by Ken Tyler against Montana State in 1975 and equaled twice by John Stockton against the University of San Diego and again against the University of Portland during the 1983-84 season.
SANTANGELO HITS 1,700 POINTS: Matt Santangelo now has 1,759 career points to rank 3rd on the Gonzaga University all-time scoring charts. Santangelo trails Frank Burgess (2,196 from 1959-61) and Jim McPhee (2,105 from 1986-90) on the all-time list. He's averaging 13.7 ppg in his career.
FRAHM ECLIPSES 1,500 POINT BARRIER: Senior guard Richie Frahm continues his climb up the all-time Gonzaga University points chart, and has eclipsed the 1,500 point barrier with 1,566 for 5th. He moved past Jerry Vermillion who scored 1,547 points from 1952-55. He needs 82 points to move past Jeff Brown and into fourth, Brown with 1,646 from 1992-94.
20 WINS AGAIN: For the seventh time in eight years Gonzaga University has hit the 20-win plateau, the Bulldogs' 24 wins this season equaling the 24 wins of 1998. Gonzaga set a school record with last year's 28-7 mark. This year marks the fourth 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 this year's team 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 WCC TOURNAMENT: Gonzaga University is 17-11 in West Coast Conference Tournament play. The Bulldogs lost their first five games in the tournament, and are 17-6 over the past eight years. Gonzaga's inaugural WCC Tournament win was a 61-48 verdict over the University of San Diego in the 1992 tourney at the University of Portland. Here's how Gonzaga has fared in the tournament:
YEAR SEED OPPONENT SCORE GU W/L h1987 #2 #7 Pepperdine 76-73 L 1988 #5 #4 Pepperdine 81-70 L 1989 #6 #3 Loyola Marymount 101-98 L 1990 #8 #1 Loyola Marymount 121-84 L 1991 #6 #3 San Diego 72-62 L 1992 #4 #5 San Diego 61-48 W #2 Santa Clara 54-51 W #1 Pepperdine 73-70 L 1993 #2 #7 Portland 77-57 W #3 Santa Clara 53-51 L 1994 #1 #8 Loyola Marymount 91-76 W #4 San Diego 83-75 L 1995 #4 #5 San Diego 74-57 W #3 Saint Mary's 69-59 W #2 Portland 80-67 W 1996 #2 #7 Saint Mary's 64-54 W #8 Pepperdine 76-48 W #5 Portland 76-68 L 1997 #5 #4 San Diego 64-59 L 1998 #1 #8 Loyola Marymount 79-78 W #7 San Diego 79-54 W #5 San Francisco 80-67 L 1999 #1 #8 Portland 84-63 W #6 Saint Mary's 70-57 W #4 Santa Clara 91-66 W 2000 #2 #7 Saint Mary's 76-49 W #3 San Diego 80-70 W #1 Pepperdine (OT) 69-65 W
GONZAGA HAS RPI OF 38: Gonzaga University is 38th in the final RPI with a rating of .5615. Of Gonzaga's opponents this season, 14 have a RPI in the top 150, including top-ranked University of Cincinnati, which checks in with a .6600. Gonzaga has also faced two teams ranked in both this week's ESPN/USA TODAY Top 25 polls - No. 5 Temple University and No. 6 Cincinnati.
SAGARIN RANKINGS: Gonzaga University is ranked 26th in the Jeff Sagarin NCAA Basketball Rankings through Sunday's games. The Bulldogs have an 85.91rating. The University of Wisconsin is 25th at 86.26, and the University of Oregon is 27th at 85.90. The Bulldogs finished 18th last year with an 87.01 rating. The University of Cincinnati, a 75-68 winner over Gonzaga this season, is atop the Sagarin ratings with a 95.83. On a conference note, the West Coast Conference is ranked 13th with a 74.54 rating. The Big Ten Conference is No. 1 with an 84.21.
FEW JOINS ELITE FEW: Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few joined an elite group of West Coast Conference coaches with his 20th victory in the Bulldogs' home finale. Few became the seventh WCC rookie head coach to win 20 games, with Pepperdine University's Jan van Breda Kolff joining the list three days prior to Few's inauguration. Gonzaga's Dan Monson turned the trick during the 1997-98 season. The previous coaches to win 20 their first year were University of Portland coach Rob Chavez in 1994, Pepperdine's Tom Asbury in 1988 and the University of San Francisco duo of Pete Barry (1980) and Dan Belloumini (1978).
CALVARY NAMED TOURNAMENT MVP: Junior forward Casey Calvary was named the MVP of the West Coast Conference Tournament in leading the Bulldogs to the title. Calvary scored a career-high 22 points in Gonzaga's semifinal victory over the University of San Diego, then came back for another career-high with 28 points in the championship game against Pepperdine University. He went 11-for-13 from the field in the title game. In the three games he was 25-for-34 from the field for 73.5 percent, grabbed 28 rebounds for a 9.3 average and scored 64 points for a 21.3 average. He also scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the opener against Saint Mary's for his fourth double-double of the season and the seventh of his career.
CALVARY SWATS 'EM AWAY: Casey Calvary matched his career high with 5 blocks in Gonzaga University's win earlier this season over Eastern Washington University. He had 5 blocks last season against St. Martin's College. He has blocked at least one shot in 75 of his last 85 games and in 83 of his 99 career games overall. He has blocked at least one shot in 23-of-30 games he's played this season. The junior from Tacoma, WA, had a streak of 11 straight games with at least one block halted in the regular-season finale at the University of San Francisco. He had at least one block in 20 of the last 21 games his freshman season, then started last season with blocks in 29 straight games. He blocked a shot in 32 of his 34 appearances a year ago. He led the West Coast Conference in blocked shots with 46 as a freshman and again last year with 57. He has 52 this season to rank first at 1.7/game, and has 155 blocks in his Gonzaga career.
FRAHM WCC JANUARY PLAYER OF MONTH: Gonzaga University senior guard Richie Frahm was been named the West Coast Conference men's basketball Player of the Month for January. Frahm averaged 19.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, shot 59.0 percent from the field, 57.1 percent from 3-point range and nailed 83.3 percent of his free throws in helping Gonzaga to an undefeated (8-0) month. The native of Battle Ground, WA, scored 20 or more points four times, including 31 against the University of San Diego. He was named the WCC Player of the Week twice for the month. It marked the second straight year Frahm earned the league's nod for the month of January, and is the fifth straight season a Gonzaga player has been honored for the month of January.
THE POLLS: Gonzaga University moved back into the ESPN/USA TODAY Top 25 this week. The Bulldogs earned 7 points to rank 32nd if the poll was extended. The Associated Press Top 25 had not been released as of Monday morning.
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 103-9 at home for a nifty 91.9 winning percentage, finishing 10-1 this season. The Bulldogs completed a 10-0 season in The Kennel in 1999, 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. Gonzaga was 10-1 at home in 1998. The Bulldogs put together a 34-game home-court-winning streak from 1992-95, which at the time was the second-longest active streak in the country.
FLOYD REPLACES NILSON IN STARTING LINEUP: Senior Ryan Floyd, who had just one career start on Senior Night in Gonzaga University's home finale, has replaced injured Mike Nilson in the starting lineup. Floyd, a sparkplug off the bench this season, has responded by going 6-for-9 from the field in his two starts since Nilson's injury in the West Coast Conference Tournament. He made his only shot against the University of San Diego, then shot Gonzaga to a 38-34 halftime lead in the championship game against Pepperdine University by scoring 13 of his 14 points in the first half. He went 5-of-6 from the field in the first half, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range. He finished 5-of-8 from the field. His best outing of the season with a 6-of-9 afternoon at UCLA on his way to a career-high 17 points as he provided the offensive punch in Gonzaga's 59-43 win over the Bruins in Pauley Pavilion. He went 5-of-8 from 3-point range against the Bruins.
PAULEY PAVILION RECORD: Gonzaga University is in the UCLA record book, holding the Bruins to their fewest points ever in Pauley Pavilion in the Bulldogs' 59-43 victory.
HITTING A CENTURY: Gonzaga University posted back-to-back 100-point games for the first time in the Bulldogs' 42-year NCAA Division I history with the 103-56 and 101-77 drubbings of Loyola Marymount University. The Bulldogs reached the century mark for the third time this season, having defeated the University of Texas-Pan American 111-71. The 1963-64 squad had four 100-point outings for the most in a single season - 108-57 over Eastern Washington University, 103-70 against Eastern Montana College and 100-83 over the University of Montana. The Bulldogs also fell 105-100 to the University of Portland that season.
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