NCAA Tournament Recap: Gonzaga Reaches Second Elite Eight


Mark Few now has a reason to do another locker room handstand.

Gonzaga (35-2) handled a tough shooting night and beat UCLA (22-14) 74-62. The Bulldogs advance to their second Elite Eight appearance in program history, and first since their 1999 Cinderella run that started it all.

The Bruins opened up the game with a 2-0 lead off of a Norman Powell jumper. Gonzaga responded with a Byron Wesley jumper. UCLA would never see the lead again.

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Gonzaga built a sizable lead in the first half, as the Bulldogs led 35-28 going into halftime. While it turned into a normal halftime score, both teams struggled to find the hoop for the first part of the game. Things weren’t much different in the second half.

The highlights of the game had to be the pair of behind-the-back passes from Przemek Karnowski to Domantas Sabonis. Those were Karnowski’s only two assists of the game, but they were pretty enough to be featured on Sportscenter.

Kyle Wiltjer was limited to eight points on 4-of-12 shooting. It was clear that UCLA was putting most of their focus on stopping his offense. However, Gonzaga’s depth proved to be too much. Karnowski and Sabonis combined for 30 points on 14-of-20 shooting. They were the driving force that ultimately put the Bruins out of reach.

The win gives Gonzaga 35 victories on the season, which is the new program record for the amount of wins in one season. It also puts Mark Few in his first Elite Eight as head coach–he was an assistant coach on the 1999 Elite Eight team.

Gonzaga takes on Duke for a spot in the Final Four Sunday at 2:05 p.m. on CBS.