Bulldogs Face Purdue In NCAA Sweet 16
March 21, 2000
Game No. 35 - No. 10 Gonzaga vs. No. 6 Purdue
NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 - Thursday, March 23 - 4:55 p.m. PST
The Pit/Bob King Court - Albuquerque, NM
Radio: KXLY 920 AM 90 minutes prior to tipoff
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (26-8, 11-3 in West Coast Conference)
G - 13 Matt Santangelo, 6-1, 176, Sr., Portland, OR
UNIVERSITY OF PURDUE BOILERMAKERS (23-9, 12-4 in Big Ten Conference)
BULLDOGS DANCE INTO SWEET 16: For the second straight year, Gonzaga University has danced into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The 10th-seeded Bulldogs toppled 7th-seeded University of Louisville 77-66 in the first round of the tournament in Tucson, AZ, then came back with a major 82-76 win over highly-touted and No. 2 seed St. John's University on Saturday. The Bulldogs, in just their third NCAA Tournament ever and back for a second straight season, will be trying to duplicate last year's Cinderella march to the Elite Eight when they meet No. 6 seed Purdue University Thursday in the West Regional in Albuquerque, NM. In the other Thursday matchup, No. 4 Louisiana State University will meet No. 8 University of Wisconsin. Thursday's winners will play Saturday for a trip to Indianapolis, IN, and the NCAA Final Four.
GONZAGA VERSUS TRADITION: Gonzaga University is making just its third NCAA Tournament appearance (1995 and '99 the others), while the Purdue University is in the tourney for the 19th time. Gonzaga, the No. 14 seed, lost in the first round to No. 3 seed University of Maryland in 1995. The Boilermakers, meanwhile, are in their seventh Sweet 16, have made 21 appearances in the Elite Eight and been to a pair of Final Fours. Purdue's NCAA Tournament record is 25-18. Gonzaga's NCAA Tournament mark is 5-2, and the Bulldogs are in their second straight Sweet 16.
GONZAGA VS. BIG TEN: Gonzaga University is 2-6 against current Big Ten Conference membership. This is the second meeting between Gonzaga and Purdue University, the Boilermakers taking an 83-68 win in Mackey Arena in the 1998 Chase NIT second round. Gonzaga is 1-0 against Penn State University and the University of Minnesota, 0-2 against the University of Wisconsin and the University of Iowa, and 0-1 against Michigan State University. Gonzaga's 1988 meeting with Penn State in the Cowboy Shootout in Casper, WY, came prior to the Nittany Lions joining the Big Ten. Gonzaga topped Minnesota in last year's NCAA Tournament first round in Seattle.
COMMON FOE: Santa Clara University and UCLA were common opponents for Gonzaga University and Purdue University this season. Gonzaga split a pair of West Coast Conference games with SCU, winning 97-67 and losing 81-70, while Purdue took a 70-55 win at SCU's Toso Pavilion. Gonzaga throttled UCLA 59-43 for the lowest Bruins' output in the history of Pauley Pavilion, while Purdue dropped a 55-53 decision at Pauley.
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 660 career assists for third all-time in the West Coast Conference. USF's Orlando Smart holds the WCC mark with 902. With 217 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 9th on the WCC single-season list, and needs 13 assists to jump into the 5th spot.
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 1,800 POINTS: Matt Santangelo now has 1,801 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 13.9 ppg in his career.
FRAHM ECLIPSES 1,600 POINT BARRIER: Senior guard Richie Frahm continues his climb up the all-time Gonzaga University points chart, and has eclipsed the 1,600 point barrier with 1,607 for 4th. He moved past Jerry Vermillion who scored 1,547 points from 1952-55. He needs 40 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' 26 wins this season second only behind last year's school record 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.
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 24th in the Jeff Sagarin NCAA Basketball Rankings through Sunday's games. The Bulldogs have an 86.97 rating. The University of Maryland is 24th at 87.11 and the University of Wisconsin is 26th at 86.95. 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 94.83. On a conference note, the West Coast Conference is ranked 13th with a 74.89 rating. The Big Ten Conference is No. 1 with an 84.23.
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 76 of his last 87 games and in 84 of his 101 career games overall. He has blocked at least one shot in 24-of-32 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 54 this season to rank first at 1.7/game, and has 157 blocks in his Gonzaga career.
THE POLLS: Gonzaga moved back into the ESPN/USA TODAY and Associated Press Top 25 this week. The Bulldogs earned 7 points to rank 32nd if the ESPN/USA TODAY poll was extended, and 2 votes to tie Butler for 40th in the AP rankings.
NATIONALLY RANKED FOES: Purdue University becomes the fifth nationally ranked opponent on Gonzaga University's schedule this season. Purdue University is 25th in the Associated Press Top 25 and 24th in the ESPN/USA TODAY Top 25. St. John's University was 9th in last week's Associated Press poll, and 12th in the ESPN/USA TODAY coaches poll. The Bulldogs defeated the Red Storm 82-76 to go to 2-2 against Top 25 foes thus far this season, losing to No. 1 Cincinnati 75-68 and #18 Temple 64-48. The Bulldogs defeated 11th-ranked UCLA in Pauley Pavilion 59-43.
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, responded by going 6-for-9 from the field in his two starts following 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. He has struggled in the first two games of the NCAA tournament, hitting just 3-of-10 from the field and 2-of-7 from 3-point range. His best outing of the season was a 6-of-9 (5-of-8 from three) afternoon at UCLA on his way to a career-high 17 points as he provided the offensive punch in GU's 59-43 win over the Bruins in Pauley Pavilion.
FRAHM HITS 31 VS. LOUISVILLE: Senior Richie Frahm scored 31 points last Thursday against the University of Louisville, his third 30-point night of the season, and the fourth of his career. He also scored 31 points this season at San Diego, poured in 32 against Colorado in the Rainbow Classic and had a career-high 37 at Memphis last season in the pre-season Chase NIT.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Gonzaga University earned its NCAA Tournament berth by winning the West Coast Conference Tournament after finishing second during the regular season. Purdue University received an at-large berth after finishing third in the Big Ten Conference and dropping a first round Big Ten Conference Tournament game to the University of Wisconsin.
TWO DOZEN MISTAKES: The 24 turnovers by Gonzaga University in last Thursday's win over the University of Louisville were the most by the Bulldogs this season, surpassing the 19 committed in an 83-55 win over Ohio University in the opening round of the Rainbow Classic. Gonzaga had 24 turnovers last season in a 74-73 win at Texas-Pan American. The Bulldogs came back with just 10 turnovers in Saturday's win over St. John's University.
POUNDING THE BOARDS: Gonzaga University held a 35-28 rebounding edge against the University of Louisville and a 38-34 advantage against St. John's University. The Bulldogs are now 19-3 this season when out-rebounding the opposition. Gonzaga out-rebounded Cincinnati 39-37, Temple 45-37 and Oregon 35-28 in defeats this season.
HOT SHOOTING = WINS: Holding true to form, when Gonzaga University shoots well the result is usually a "W". The Bulldogs were shooting 50.6 percent from the field in 24 wins heading into Thursday's game with the University of Louisville, and the Bulldogs came out and shot a sizzling 59.1 percent in the first half and 57.1 per cent for the game. In their 8 losses this season the Bulldogs have shot just 39.7 percent from the field with a season-high 45.1 percent in a losing effort against the University of Oregon. The Bulldogs shot 46.4 percent against St. John's University last Saturday, the 11th time this season the Bulldogs have won when shooting less that 50.0 percent from the field.
WHEN FRAHM'S HOT, BULLDOGS USUALLY WIN: Gonzaga University is 14-1 this year when senior Richie Frahm shoots 50 percent or better from the field. The only time the Bulldogs have lost this season when Frahm hit 50.0 percent from the field was at Santa Clara on the final weekend of the season, Frahm going 8-for-14 from the field in an 81-70 loss. Frahm is shooting 51.2 percent from the field in Gonzaga's 26 wins, and 36.5 percent in the eight losses.
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