Bulldogs Show Their Bite Again

March 17, 2001

Press Conference Quotes

For the third straight year, Gonzaga showed it's not befitting of the underdog role. Now the 12th-seeded Bulldogs look to avoid becoming upset victims themselves when they face 13th-seeded Indiana State in the second round of the South Regional.

The Zags won their opening-round game for the third straight season Friday, as Casey Calvary's putback with 9.6 seconds left propelled them to an 86-85 victory over fifth-seeded Virginia.

"I don't consider it an upset because I think we have proven we are a very good basketball team," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "There is a lot of parity in college basketball. There's not that much difference between a 12 and a four seed and maybe a 12 and a three seed."

A victory Sunday would put Gonzaga into the round of 16 for the third straight year. The Bulldogs reached the regional final two years ago as the 10th seed and made the regional semifinals last season, also as the 10th seed.

"We weren't crazy about playing them," Virginia coach Pete Gillen said after Friday's loss. "They are much better than a 12 seed. It's not the committee's fault. They hadn't seen Gonzaga. These guys are tremendous."

One of the big reasons for the Zags' success in the postseason has been Calvary, who once again came up big, this time scoring 16 points and pulling down 13 rebounds. In eight career NCAA tournament games, Calvary has averaged 10.8 points and 12.0 rebounds.

Though Calvary hit the biggest shot of Friday's win, Dan Dickau was the star of the game. The junior guard, who sat out last season after transferring from Washington, scored 29 points and hit 6-of-9 from 3-point range.

Indiana State comes into the game off its first NCAA tournament victory in 22 years, a 70-68 overtime victory over fourth-seeded Oklahoma.

Kelyn Block scored five of his 17 points in overtime after having three teeth either knocked out or cracked late in regulation by an inadvertent elbow from the Sooners' Hollis Price.

"That was a huge lift," point guard Michael Menser said of Block's return to start overtime. "The first play he got the steal and the layup. You could see with his teeth out he was in a lot of pain. He's a tough kid."

The last time the Sycamores won an NCAA tournament game prior to this season, Larry Bird was a senior and led the team to the championship game in 1979 before losing to Magic Johnson and Michigan State.

This will be the first ever meeting between these schools.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Indiana State - Automatic bid, Missouri Valley Conference tournament champion, defeated No. 4 Oklahoma 70-68, OT, first round. Gonzaga - West Coast Conference tournament champion, defeated No. 5 Virginia 86-85, first round.

ALL-TIME TOURNAMENT RECORD: Indiana State - 5-2, 3 years. Gonzaga - 6-3, 4 years.


 

 

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