(2) Zags Take on Top-Seeded Duke in Regional Final

SOUTH REGIONAL FINAL - ELITE 8

[2] Gonzaga (35-2) vs. [1] Duke (32-4)
Sunday, March 29, 2015 | 2:05 p.m. (PT)/4:05 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  |  Duke 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 22-17 all-time in 18 NCAA Tournament appearances with its sixth trip to the Sweet 16 and second trip to the Elite Eight.
  • GU is 19-15 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 in NCAA games in Seattle, Wash., and 1-0 in NCAA games 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.
  • Gonzaga is 0-6 all-time against No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament.

ABOUT GONZAGA

  • Head coach Mark Few enters the game with a career record of 437-102, the NCAA all-time leader in winning percentage at .811.
  • 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 16.8 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 .522.
  • The Zags rank No. 5 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.59), No. 6 in assists/game (16.5) and No. 7 in scoring offense (79.4).
  • 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 35 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
GU is 0-2 all-time against Duke, with both losses at Madison Square Garden (Dec. ‘06, Dec. ‘09).

ABOUT DUKE

  • Duke is 102-34 (.750) all-time in NCAA Tournament play, including an 85-26 (.766) mark under head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
  • Duke defeated Utah 63-57 in the Sweet 16 with 21 pts., 10 reb., from Justise Winslow.
  • Four players average double figures, led by freshman Jahlil Okafor’s 17.7 points per game.
  • Quinn Cook averages 15.7 ppg, while Winslow is at 12.4 and Tyus Jones is at 11.5.
  • Okafor also leads the team in rebounding at 8.7 per game, but shoots .514 from the FT line.
  • Six Duke players average between 21.3 and 35.7 minutes per game.
  • Quinn Cook has been deadly from deep, making 100 of 247 three-pointers (.405).

A WIN WOULD...

  • Add to the school-record 35 wins on the season.
  • Give Gonzaga its first-ever berth in the Final Four.
  • Improve Mark Few’s career NCAA record to 20-15.
  • Be the 123rd of Kevin Pangos’ career (an average of more than 30 per season) the most of any senior in the nation.

NCAA TOURNAMENT STATS
Through Gonzaga’s Sweet 16 win over UCLA:

  • As a team, Gonzaga is shooting .503 (89-177) from the field, and .351 (20-57) from three
  • GU is averaging 17.0 assists per game, 0.5 higher than season average
  • GU is outrebounding opponents 39.7 to 28.3, a +11.4 edge
  • GU has scored more points (247) than any team in the NCAA Tournament
  • Sabonis is averaging a nearly double-double with 12.3 points and 9.3 rebounds
  • Wiltjer is averaging 18.5 points per game (23 vs. NDSU, 24 vs. Iowa, 8 vs. UCLA)
  • Wiltjer is 22-36 (. 611) from the field and 6-for-12 (.500) from three
  • Karnowski is averaging 12.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.0 blocks

GONZAGA NCAA RECORDS
Through Gonzaga’s Sweet 16 win over UCLA:

  • Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr. moved into a tie for second in career NCAA games played behind school record holders Casey Calvary and Mark Spink, who each played in 10.
  • Kevin Pangos moved into first all-time in GU’s NCAA history with 27 3FGM and 70 3FGA.
  • Pangos moved to second at GU in career points in NCAAs with 140, passing Casey Calvary with his 10-point effort against UCLA. He is only nine behind Adam Morrison’s 149.
  • 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 37 and second in field goals attempted at 104.
  • Pangos moved into fourth in career assists in NCAAs with 30.
  • Pangos extended his GU career lead in steals in NCAAs to 15.
  • Przemek Karnowski is third at GU in career field goal percentage in NCAAs at .659 (29-44).
  • Karnowski moved into a tie for second at GU in career blocks in NCAAs with 9.

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 54.3% from the field, 46.9% from behind the arc and 79.0% from the free throw line, while averaging a team-best 16.8 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 this season
  • Single-game team season-high of 45 points (at Pacific)

OPPONENT COMPARISON NOTES - Through 37 games

  • More assists than its opponent 34 times
  • More rebounds than its opponent 32 times
  • More or equal blocks with opponent 31 times
  • More or equal steals with opponent 21 times
  • Less or equal turnovers with its opponent 24 times
  • A higher or equal field goal percentage 33 times
  • More or equal 3FGM with its opponent 28 times
  • Shot more or equal number of FT attempts 25 times

FRESHMAN FORCE
Domantas Sabonis has come onto the scene as a freshman to lead the team in rebounding at 7.1 per game. He leads the team in offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds and total rebounds. Sabonis has had at least seven rebounds in 18 of the last 22 games, and at least six in 24 of the last 28. He’s had double digits on the glass in six times this season. Comparatively in the first In the first nine games, he had more than six only four times.

PAINT
In its Sweet 16 win over UCLA, Przemek Karnowski and Domantas Sabonis dominated the first 15 minutes of the second half. During that stretch, the pair combined for 18 of Gonzaga’s 24 points, helping stretch the lead from eight to 17. Both scored 10 points in the second half alone with Karnowski feeding Sabonis for a pair of buckets on behind-the-back, no-look passes. For the tournament, the pair has helped Gonzaga outscore its three opponents in the paint by a score of 120 to 98.

WILTJER IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Junior transfer Kyle Wiltjer knows a little something about playing in the NCAA Tournament moving to 9-0 in his career with the Sweet 16 win over UCLA. He went 6-0 on the way to a national title at Kentucky in 2012, then missed the tournament with the Wildcats the following season. From the field, especially behind the arc, he’s been spectacular. For his career, Wiltjer is shooting .526 (10-19) from three-point land.

POINTS OFF TOs
One of the main keys to Gonzaga’s first two 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. Against UCLA, the Zags had six points off seven turnovers. That gives them a total of 52 points off 31 opponent turnovers in the NCAA Tournament.

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. 8 in the nation in 3FG% at .403.
  • GU has made at least four three-pointers in every game, except against USD on Feb. 26 and against UCLA in the Sweet 16.
  • 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 81 threes and is shooting .438.
  • Kyle Wiltjer is second on the team with 67 threes and leads team at .469.
  • 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 35. This is his first NCAA Tournament.

DIME STATS
As a team, Gonzaga has been one of the best in the country at making the extra pass. The Zags are ranked 5th in the NCAA in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.59 and 6th in assists per game at 16.5. So far this season, the Zags have gotten an assists on 58% of their made baskets. Comparatively, Zag opponents have gotten assists on only 44% of their field goals.

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 19.6 points per game in road/neutral and 13.6 ppg at home. Pangos has averaged 13.0 ppg and 5.2 assists on the road and 10.4 ppg and 4.5 apg at home.


 

 

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