So, would he go there now?
The one thing missing from the Zags' resume as a college basketball power was a spot in the Final Four, something the Bulldogs took care of by running through Xavier. "Absolutely. I mean, it is". Which Few's team did.
Saturday presents Gonzaga with its best chance yet to make the Final Four. Now the NCAA's winningest program will play another of basketball's titans Sunday in top-seeded North Carolina with a trip to yet another Final Four on the line. "It's what we set out to do". Considering Xavier started the year in the preseason top ten. "The emotion of this moment is indescribable." .
So did the Ducks, whose Final Four trip is especially sweet: It's the first for Altman, who had guided Kansas State, Creighton and OR to 13 tournaments without making it; it ends a drought that stretches back to FDR's presidency; and it will be played close enough that numerous players' families can drive to the desert, a luxury rarely afforded to West Coast schools. At one point the 'Zags had hit 10 of 16 from behind the arc, laying waste to Xavier's zone defenses that gave its previous tourney opponents fits.
Bluiett had 75 points in the first three NCAA games, including 25 in a 73-71 victory over Arizona on Thursday.
"They're really good. Sometimes you just lose to a better team", Xavier coach Chris Mack said. With the growing despair that college basketball is coming to a close in a little over a week, we have several more very good games to look forward to. Nope. Didn't happen. As Mack noted, it's a chore to get an inside-out game going against the Zags.
"There have been so many great Zags teams".
Kansas is chasing its first Final Four since that 2012 run. In their fourth season playing as part of the Big East Conference, they finished the regular season with a record of 19-12.
Whoever wins this game will be the lowest-seeded team in the Final Four.
As soon as the team's bus pulled up the crowd erupted in a "Let's go Zags" chant followed by a "Go Gonzaga, G-O-N-Z-A-G-A" cheer.
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"Just an incredible feeling of elation and satisfaction", Few said.
SSF: I think this is finally the year Mark Few breaks the curse.
But who would have thought that he'd play until this deep into his first year? Nigel Williams-Goss led the way with 20 points. The regional's Most Outstanding Player, Johnathan Williams (19 points, eight rebounds), began his career at Missouri.
Matthews didn't even have to miss a season.
BECB: Aside from Collins and Karnowski, who is a player on the Bulldogs that could be a difference maker in this game? "These guys are every bit as connected as them". "But had we played our best, it still would have been a tough out". The fifth-year senior is an outstanding passing big man; Karnowski averages 1.9 assists. Somebody was always open.
"We actually had a conversation as to whether I should redshirt this year, but I didn't want to do that".
Of course, the tournament did not end Saturday.
Now the Zags are headed to the desert, where they'll play the victor between SC and Florida in next week's Final Four. "My body was stiff and I thought I couldn't do anything", said Hachimura, who is understood to be the first player with Japanese citizenship to play in the NCAA Tournament.
With Gonzaga and OR winning and advancing to the Final Four on Saturday, the final two berths will officially be handed out this afternoon. "It's not fair in January", Few said.
Might as well shut up the skeptics once and for all.