(2) Zags in Houston to take on (11) UCLA Friday
NCAA TOURNAMENT SWEET SIXTEEN

[2] Gonzaga (34-2) vs. [11] UCLA (21-13)

Friday, March 27, 2015 | 4:15 p.m. (PT)/6:15 p.m. CT | NRG Stadium | Houston
TV: CBS (Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery, Grant Hill, Tracy Wolfson)
Gonzaga IMG Radio Network: KGA 1510/TuneIn App (Tom Hudson, Matt Santangelo)

 Watch Live  |  Bracket  |  Digital Guide  |  Gonzaga Game Notes NCAA TOURNAMENT NOTES
  • Gonzaga is in its 17th consecutive NCAA Tournament and 18th overall.
  • The 17 straight is the fourth-longest current streak in the nation (Duke, Kansas, Mich. State).
  • Gonzaga is now 21-17 all-time in 18 NCAA Tournament appearances with its sixth trip to the Sweet 16 and one trip to the Elite Eight.
  • GU is 18-15 in the NCAA Tournament under head coach Mark Few with an appearance in all 16 seasons of Few’s career.
  • Gonzaga has been a top-four seed five previous times (#1 once, #2 once, #3 twice, #4 once).
  • Gonzaga is now 5-1 all-time in NCAA Tournament games in Seattle, Wash., with the last appearance coming in 2004. GU has never played an NCAA Tournament game in Houston.
  • Last season, Gonzaga was the No. 8 seed in San Diego, Calif., and defeated #9 Oklahoma State in the Second Round before falling to #1 Arizona in the Third Round.
  • Gonzaga went 7-2 during the regular season against NCAA Tournament teams.
ABOUT GONZAGA
  • Head coach Mark Few enters the game with a career record of 436-102, the NCAA all-time leader in winning percentage at .810.
  • Gonzaga won its 14th WCC regular season title in the last 15 years.
  • GU appeared in the WCC title game for the 18th straight year, winning its third straight. 
  • Gonzaga’s balanced scoring attack is led by WCC Newcomer of the Year Kyle Wiltjer’s 17.1 points per game. He’s among six Zags that average at least 8.3 ppg.
  • Gonzaga is ranked No. 1 in field goal shooting in the nation at .526.
  • The Zags rank No. 5 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.58), No. 6 in assists/game (16.6) and No. 6 in scoring offense (79.5).
  • GU is the only team in the NCAA Tournament in the top 25 in FG% and FG% defense.
  • Earlier this year, Gonzaga set a school record with 22 consecutive victories.
  • The 34 wins sets a new GU record, breaking the previous mark from 2012-13 (32-3).
  • Gonzaga swept the WCC yearly individual awards: Kevin Pangos (Player), Gary Bell Jr. (Defender), Kyle Wiltjer (Newcomer), Mark Few (Coach).
  • Gonzaga placed three players on the All-WCC First Team (Pangos, Wiltjer, Przemek Karnowski) and three players on the Second Team (Bell Jr., Domantas Sabonis, Byron Wesley).
ABOUT THE SERIES 
  • Gonzaga is 2-1 all-time against UCLA, with the lone loss in the 2006 NCAA Tournament.
ABOUT UCLA
  • Second-year head coach Steve Alford led the Bruins to a 28-9 record and Sweet 16 appearance in his first season at the helm, as well as a return trip as an 11-seed this year.
  • On the floor, the Bruins have five players averaging double figures, including two over 15 points per game. Norman Powell leads the way with 16.4 ppg, while Bryce Alford is second with 15.6 ppg and has a team-leading 4.9 assists per game.
  • Forward Kevon Looney is averaging a just under double-double this season with 11.6 points and 9.2 rebounds per game.
  •  The Bruins rely heavily on the starting five, getting 91 percent of their scoring from them.
A WIN WOULD...
  • Add to the school-record 34 wins on the season.
  • Give Gonzaga its second-ever berth in the Elite Eight
  • Improve Mark Few’s career NCAA record to 19-15.
  • Be the 121st of Kevin Pangos’ career (an average of more than 30 per season).
NCAA TOURNAMENT STATS Through Gonzaga’s Third Round win over Iowa:
  • As a team, Gonzaga is shooting .564 (62-110) from the field, and .447 (17-38) from three
  • GU is averaging 18.0 assists per game, 1.5 higher than season average
  • GU is outrebounding opponents 34.5 to 23.0, a +11.5 edge
  • GU has scored more points (173) than any team in the NCAA Tournament
  • Sabonis is averaging a double-double with 12.5 points and 10.0 rebounds
  • Wiltjer is averaging 23.5 points per game (23 vs. NDSU, 24 vs. Iowa)
  • Wiltjer is 18-24 (.750) from the field and 6-for-9 (.667) from three
  • Karnowski is averaging 10.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 blocks
GONZAGA NCAA RECORDS Through Gonzaga’s Third Round win over Iowa:
  • Kevin Pangos moved into first all-time in GU’s NCAA history with 26 made threes and 63 threes attempted.
  • Pangos moved to third at GU in career points in NCAAs with 130, passing Richie Frahm with his 16-point effort against Iowa.
  • Pangos moved into sixth at GU in career free throws made in NCAAs with 26. 
  • Pangos moved into third in career field goals made in NCAAs with 34 and sixth in field goals attempted at 82.
  • Pangos moved into third in career assists in NCAAs with 27. 
  • Pangos extended his GU career lead in steals in NCAAs to 13.
  • Przemek Karnowski is third at GU in career field goal percentage in NCAAs at .630 (17-27).
  • Karnowski moved into a tie for sixth at GU in career blocks in NCAAs with 7.
POINTS OFF TOs One of the main keys to Gonzaga’s NCAA Tournament wins this season has been converting off of opponent turnovers. The Zags turned 13 North Dakota State turnovers into 24 points, then took 11 Iowa turnovers and converted them into 22 points. 30 WINS With the WCC quarterfinal victory against San Francisco, Gonzaga topped the 30-win plateau for just the second time in school history. The Zags had finished a season with 29 three previous times, with the only other 30-win season coming two years ago (32-3). GU was the second team in the country to top 30 wins this season (Kentucky).  HEATING UP
  • Gonzaga leads the WCC and is ranked No. 3 in the nation in 3FG% at .410.
  • Over the last three games, Gonzaga is 33-67 (.493) from behind the arc.
  • GU has made at least four three-pointers in every game, except against USD on Feb. 26.
  • Gonzaga has made at least 10 threes in a game nine times this season, including a10-for-16 mark in the Third Round win over Iowa.
  • 11 players have made at least one three.
  • Kevin Pangos leads the team with 80 threes and is shooting .449.
  • Kyle Wiltjer is second on the team with 67 threes and leads team at .479.
  • A GU player has at least 5 threes in a game 5 times this season (Pangos 3, Bell Jr. 1, Wiltjer 1).
WESLEY WINNING Senior guard Byron Wesley transferred to Gonzaga under the graduate-exception rule after three years at USC. In those three years, he won a combined 31 games, eclipsing that total in just one season in a Gonzaga uniform with 34. This is his first NCAA Tournament. ROAD WARRIORS It’s been the veteran experience of Kyle Wiltjer and Kevin Pangos that has carried the Zags in games away from The Kennel. All three are averaging higher point totals in road/neutral games. Wiltjer’s split is the biggest at 20.2 points per game in road/neutral and 13.6 ppg at home. Pangos has averaged 13.1 ppg and 5.3 assists on the road and 10.4 ppg and 4.5 apg at home. MOUNTAIN MAN Earlier this year, ESPN’s Seth Greenberg called Przemek Karnowski “a mountian masquerading as a man.” In the WCC quarterfinal against San Francisco, he was just that, scoring a career-high 24 points on 10-14 shooting with four rebounds and two blocks. His previous career-high was 22, set twice, including against Washington State earlier this season. Karnowski added 13 points and six rebounds in the semifinal win over Pepperdine. PANGOS IS EVERYWHERE  With his 500th assist at Saint Mary’s on Feb. 21, Kevin Pangos became the only player in school history to amass at least 1,700 points, 500 assists and 150 steals. His 1,810 points rank fifth, his 533 assists rank fifth and his 175 steals rank second all-time at Gonzaga. IRONMAN Senior point guard Kevin Pangos leads the league in minutes (1201:00) and has played more minutes than anyone at GU in the last four years. He’s been in the starting lineup in every career game except one - the first one. Pangos came off the bench in his first career game as a freshman and has started every game since. That’s 140 games played and 139 starts. PAC-12 SUCCESS With the win at UCLA on December 13th, Gonzaga moved to 2-1 against Pac-12 Conference teams this season, also getting a win over Washington State earlier in the year. It’s loss came by three in overtime at No. 3 Arizona. During Mark Few’s 16-year tenure at Gonzaga, the Bulldogs are 28-14 (.667) against Pac-12 teams.  WCC TOURNAMENT DOMINATION Kyle Wiltjer averaged 18.0 points and 9.0 rebounds while nailing 8-of-13 three pointers on the way to earning West Coast Conference Tournament Most Outstanding Player and leading his team to its third straight league championship win. Kevin Pangos and Przemek Karnowski each earned all-tournament honors as well.  THE DEFINITION OF A STRETCH-FOUR On a team as balanced as Gonzaga is offensively, junior Kyle Wiltjer has been the unrivaled scoring leader with his variety of offensive skills. He’s shooting 54.8% from the field, 47.9% from behind the arc and 79.8% from the free throw line, while averaging a team-best 17.1 points per game.  More on Wiltjer’s scoring habits:
  • Led team in scoring 17 times 
  • Team-high 29 double-figure games
  • Team-high 13 20-plus games, Scored 20-plus in three straight games twice
  • Single-game team season-high of 45 points (at Pacific)

 

 

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