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Gonzaga (29-6) vs. Arizona (31-4)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Sunday, March 23, 9:40 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Viejas Arena (12,414) -- San Diego, California. Television: TBS. NCAA Tournament Record: Gonzaga 19-16, Arizona 49-29. Series Record: Arizona leads, 3-1.

GAME NOTES: A trip to the Sweet 16 is on the line tonight, as the Arizona Wildcats and the Gonzaga Bulldogs confront each other in the third round of the NCAA Tournament at Viejas Arena.

Arizona, the top seed in the West Region and the fourth-ranked team in the country, now has two wins in this building after taking down a spunky Weber State squad in the second round of the tourney on Friday, 68-59. Four months ago the Wildcats, who are now 49-29 in this event over the years, also defeated San Diego State by a score of 69-60 as part of a 21-game win streak to open up the 2013-14 campaign.

As for the Bulldogs, the eighth seed in the region as they take part in the tournament for the 16th consecutive year, they took care of Oklahoma State two days ago in an 85-77 final. The victory was the sixth in a row for a Gonzaga group which won the West Coast Conference Tournament title for the 12th time.

Arizona leads the all-time series by a count of 3-1, although the most recent matchup two seasons ago saw the Bulldogs pull out a 71-60 victory in Seattle. The squads also collided during the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2003, with Arizona surviving a double-overtime affair with a 96-95 decision at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City.

The winner this time around advances to contend with a San Diego State squad that defeated North Dakota State on Saturday in a lopsided 63-44 final.

Gonzaga suffered 15 turnovers and shot only 26-of-41 (.634) at the free-throw line, but that still didn't keep the squad from taking the eight-point win against Oklahoma State on Friday. Kevin Pangos led the way for the group with 26 points, followed by Gary Bell Jr. with 17 as he knocked down 3-of-4 shots behind the 3-point line. Przmek Karnowski logged a double-double with 15 points and a team-best 10 rebounds, while Kyle Dranginis pitched in with 12 points off the bench before fouling out. Perhaps most remarkable about the win was the fact that Sam Dower was held to only three points, to go along with nine rebounds and four assists before fouling out.

Dower didn't do much as far as scoring was concerned on Friday, but still he is a valued performer at that end of the floor as he averages 14.6 ppg. Pangos follows with 14.5 ppg, but seeing as how the latter is also second on the team with 3.7 apg, putting the ball in the basket himself is not always his top priority. Add in Bell Jr. (11.4 ppg) and Karnowski (10.3 ppg), and you can see where the bulk of the offense comes from for the Bulldogs.

The Arizona defense held Weber State to just 20 first-half points, just the sort of effort the top-seeded Wildcats needed before the 16th-seeded Wildcats from Ogden, Utah began to heat up in the second half. Nick Johnson knocked down 4-of-6 shots behind the 3-point line as he tallied a team-best 18 points, followed by Aaron Gordon who tallied 16 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots, with another five rejections coming from Kaleb Tarczewski. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was a perfect 5-of-5 from the floor as he dropped in 13 points, while Tarczewski ended with 10.

One of the better defensive teams remaining in the tournament, Arizona has managed to limit opponents to only 37.9 percent shooting from the field this season, en route to 58.2 ppg, which has allowed the Wildcats to produce a scoring advantage of 14.7 ppg. Johnson shoulders much of the load with his 16.3 ppg, while Gordon checks in with 12.3 ppg and Tarczewski another 10.1 ppg as they continue to fill in the void left by Brandon Ashley (11.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg) who has been lost to injury.

With more of an athletic presence in the paint, the Wildcats should have the right pieces in the right places tonight in order to advance in the tournament and set up a rematch against the Aztecs in California again.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arizona 68, Gonzaga 64

03/23 10:46:22 ET

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Final
MIA 87
UTA 105
Final
TOR 105
BRK 89
Final
SAN 116
MEM 117
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POR 104
MIL 97
Final
DEN 111
HOU 115
Final
LAC 102
IND 100
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
NYK
 
8:30pm Tonight
HOU
NOP
 
10:00pm Tonight
SAC
MIL
 
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LANG 65
 
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Terriers 64
DELST 72
 
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MSST 55
ARKST 69
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NCCU 108
BASC 52
 
Final
GMAS 99
CATAWBA 69
 
Final
WOFF 64
CSOU 58
 
Final
HIGH 106
FERR 48
 
Final
JVU 68
GWEBB 65
 
Final
ILL 73
HAMP 55
 
Final
BST 52
JMU 72
 
Final
YOUNG 84
KNST 90
 
Final
UMO 71
LONG 60
 
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PITT 65
MAN 56
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OSU 97
NCAT 55
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FSU 93
UNF 77
 
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TOL 83
RMU 57
 
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CAMP 70
SIUE 65
 
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DUQ 52
RFLSH 67
 
Final
NCSU 83
TENN 72
Final
UCF 75
DET 70
Final
UNCW 73
LIB 70
 
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LOYC 83
ABCHRIST 44
 
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MURST 94
ALCOR 56
 
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HOU 56
ARKPB 61
 
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NW 67
CMICH 80
Final
WKENT 75
CHIST 60
 
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ODU 58
UGST 54
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SMU 67
ILLCH 46
Final
LALAF 115
MLGN 76
 
Final
TULSA 74
MIZST 70
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UWGB 66
MORE 50
 
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NEOM 92
NCOL 82
 
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TTU 101
SCST 39
 
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DEN 83
TAMCC 73
 
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STEPH 66
TXST 60
 
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STLU 75
TXPA 69
 
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MEM 83
USCU 73
 
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ILLST 64
TENNM 54
 
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MSU 66
EMICH 46
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GRCN 80
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STAN 67
LMU 58
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BAY 66
NMST 55
 
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CIN 71
SDST 62
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AUB 80
WINT 62
 
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NMU 76
CARK 55
 
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PEPP 53
HOW 45
 
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CPSL 60
NE 58
 
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UNLV 75
PORT 73
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OREG 79
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WASH 86
GRAM 38
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