Tonight’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Elite Eight Schedule: 9:57 p.m. East (11) UCLA vs. (1) Michigan, at Lucas Oil Stadium, TBS; Bulldogs notes

3/29/2021

Final Four Berth up for grabs

Zags aim for 34th consecutive victory

#1-seed Gonzaga (29-0, 15-0 WCC) vs. #6-seed Southern California (25-7, 15-5 Pac-12)
TUESDAY, MARCH 30 | 4:15 P.M. PT | LUCAS OIL STADIUM | INDIANAPOLIS
TELEVISION: TBS
LIVE VIDEO | LIVE STATS

THE TIP OFF
– Top-overall seed Gonzaga will meet sixth-seeded USC Tuesday in the 2021 NCAA Tournament West Regional Final in Indianapolis, at 4:15 p.m. Pacific Time.
– The programs meet for the third time ever. The Trojans won the previous two meetings in 1991 and 1992.
– GU is making its 22nd consecutive NCAA Tournament Appearance and 23rd overall. The 22 straight berths to the field is the third-longest current streak in the nation (Kansas 31 and Michigan State 23).
– The Zags are 37-22 all-time in the NCAA Tournament with now 11 trips to the Sweet 16, five trips to the Elite Eight, one Final Four and an appearance in one national championship game. Gonzaga is the only program that has been in the last six Sweet 16s.
– The Bulldogs received a one-seed for the fourth time in program history. They are the top-overall seed for the first time ever. GU is one of only two teams to win its opening-round NCAA Tournament game each of the last 12 tournaments, Kansas is the other at 14.
– Gonzaga is 34-20 in the NCAA Tournament under Mark Few with a berth in all 22 seasons as a head coach.
– Corey Kispert was named First Team All-America by the AP, NABC and USBWA. Jalen Suggs and Drew Timme were second team by each outlet. All three were named Wooden All-Americans, with Kispert a Wooden finalist.
– GU is one of 29 teams in Div. 1 history to end the regular season unbeaten. The Bulldogs are the 20th squad to enter the NCAA Tournament with an unblemished record since the first tournament in 1939, and the sixth since 1976.
– The Zags’ 33 straight wins (a new program record) dating back to last season is the longest active streak in nation, along with its 12 straight victories on a neutral court.
– Gonzaga has won an NCAA Div. 1 record 26 consecutive games by double-digits, along with 31 out of the last 33.
– GU is first in the nation in scoring offense (91.8), field goal percentage (55.1), two-point percentage (63.9), scoring margin (23.3) and points in the paint (49.5).

SERIES NOTES
– This will be the third all-time meeting between Gonzaga and Southern California. The Trojans won the previous two games. USC won the first all-time meeting, 77-60, on Dec. 4, 1991, in the Spokane Coliseum. The following season, the Trojans picked up a win at home, 77-59, on Dec. 7, 1992.
– The Zags are 39-18 against Pac-12 competition under Few.
– GU has won its last nine meetings against Pac-12 foes.
– The Bulldogs are 3-3 against Pac-12 opponents in the NCAA Tournament, last beating third-seeded Utah, 82-59, in the second round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament in Denver, Colo.

SCOUTING THE TROJANS:
– Sixth-seeded Southern California advanced to its first Elite Eight in 20 years, and third in program history, by beating seventh-seeded Oregon in the Sweet 16 Sunday, 82-68.
– The Trojans shot 57 percent from the field in the win, while holding Oregon to 37 percent. Four USC players finished in double-digit scoring led by Isaiah White’s 22 points. Tahj Eaddy added 20 points and Isaiah Mobley had 13 points. Evan Mobley scored 10 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out six assists.
– Southern California advanced to the Sweet 16 after blowout wins over 11th-seeded Drake (72-56) and third-seeded Kansas (85-51). The Trojans have won their three NCAA Tournament games by an average of 21.4 points.
– Evan Mobley was named the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year. Andy Enfield was voted Pac-12 Coach of the Year.
– USC’s 168 blocks lead the country, and its 5.2 blocks per game ranks seventh. The Trojans are limiting opponents to 38.6 percent shooting from the field, which is fourth in the nation. Southern California tops the country holding opponents to 41.5 percent shooting inside the arc.
– Evan Mobley’s 95 blocks are the second-most in the nation, while his 2.97 blocks per game is sixth.

NCAA TOURNAMENT NOTES
– Gonzaga is making its 22nd consecutive NCAA Tournament Appearance and 23rd overall.
– The 22 straight berths to the field is the third-longest current streak in the nation (Kansas and Michigan State).
The Zags are 37-22 all-time in their 22 NCAA Tournament appearances with 11 trips to the Sweet 16, five trips to the Elite Eight, one Final Four and an appearance in one national championship game.
– GU is 34-20 in the NCAA Tournament under Mark Few with a berth in all 22 seasons of Few’s head coaching career.
– Gonzaga is one of only two teams to win its opening-round NCAA Tournament game each of the last 12 tournaments, Kansas is the other at 14.
– The Bulldogs are 28-16 all-time as a single-digit seed, with a 14-2 record in first round games as a single-digit seed. 
– The Bulldogs received a one-seed for the fourth time in program history, including the third time in the last four NCAA Tournaments. They are the top-overall seed for the first time ever.
– GU plays in Indianapolis in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.
– In 2018-19, [1] GU defeated [16] Fairleigh Dickinson and [9] Baylor in Salt Lake City, Utah, advancing to the Sweet 16 in Anaheim, Calif., where it beat [4] Florida State, before falling to [3] Texas Tech in the Elite Eight.

ELITE FEAT
– Gonzaga makes its fifth appearance in the Elite Eight.
– The Zags have appeared in the Elite Eight four times in the last six years. (2015, 2017, 2019, 2021)

SWEET 16 ALL OVER AGAIN
– Gonzaga is the only program in the country to appear in each of the last six Sweet 16s.
– Per ESPN stats, the Zags are the fourth program ever to reach six straight Sweet 16s. They join UCLA, Duke, and North Carolina.

SWEET PERFORMANCE
– In Gonzaga’s 83-65 Sweet 16 victory over Creighton, the Bulldogs made 59.6 percent of their shots from the field, which ranks second in program history.
– The Zags’ 34 made shots from the field tied the most in an NCAA Tournament game in program history.
– The 18-point margin is the ninth largest in the NCAA Tournament in GU history.
– Gonzaga dished out 23 assists in the win, which ranks second all-time in the tournament in program history.
– Andrew Nembhard’s eight assists tied for the second-most in a single NCAA Tournament game at GU.

COURTESY GONZAGA ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

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