Today’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Final Four Schedule At Lucas Oil Stadium: 8:34 p.m.: UCLA vs. Gonzaga, CBS; Bulldogs game preview

Zags aim for 35th consecutive victory and berth into national championship

#1-seed Gonzaga (30-0, 15-0 WCC) vs. #11-seed UCLA (22-9, 13-6 Pac-12)
SATURDAY, APRIL 3 | 5:34 P.M. PT | LUCAS OIL STADIUM | INDIANAPOLIS
TELEVISION: CBS
LIVE VIDEO | LIVE STATS

THE TIP OFF
– Top-overall seed Gonzaga will meet 11th-seeded UCLA Saturday in the 2021 NCAA Tournament National Semifinal in Indianapolis, at 5:34 p.m. Pacific Time.
– The programs meet for the sixth time ever. The Zags have three of the previous five matchups.
– 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 38-22 all-time in the NCAA Tournament with now 11 trips to the Sweet 16, five trips to the Elite Eight, two Final Fours 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 became the first program in NCAA Div. I history to have five straight 30-win seasons.
– 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’ 34 straight wins (a new program record) dating back to last season is the longest active streak in nation, along with its 13 straight victories on a neutral court.
– Gonzaga has won an NCAA Div. 1 record 27 consecutive games by double-digits, along with 32 out of the last 34.
– GU is first in the nation in scoring offense (91.6), field goal percentage (54.9), two-point percentage (63.7), scoring margin (23.1) and points in the paint (49.4).

SERIES NOTES
– This will be the sixth all-time between Gonzaga and UCLA. The Bulldogs have won three of the previous five meetings.
– The teams have split their two NCAA Tournament matchups, with GU winning the latest 74-62, in the Sweet 16 in 2015 in Houston, Texas.
– The Bruins won the last meeting, 71-66, in Spokane on
Dec. 12, 2015.
– Gonzaga won the first all-time between the programs, 59-43, at UCLA on Dec. 11, 1999.
– The Zags are 40-18 against Pac-12 competition under Few.
– GU has won its last 10 meetings against Pac-12 foes.
– The Bulldogs are 4-3 against Pac-12 opponents in the NCAA Tournament. Prior to knocking off USC in the Elite Eight, GU last beat third-seeded Utah, 82-59, in the second round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament in Denver, Colo.

SCOUTING THE BRUINS:
– 11th-seeded UCLA advanced to its first Final Four since 2008, upsetting top-seeded Michigan Tuesday, 51-49. The Bruins shot 38 percent from the field, while Michigan was 39 percent. Both teams shot under 30 percent from three-point range. UCLA’s Johnny Juzang scored a game-high 28 points, while Tyger Campbell added 11.
– The Bruins lost four straight entering the tournament, but have reeled off five consecutive wins starting with the First Four, an 86-80 overtime victory versus Michigan State.
– Four active UCLA players average double-digit scoring, with a fifth scoring 9.8 points per game. Juzang leads the Bruins at 15.5 points per outing. Jaime Jaquez Jr. adds 12.1 points and a team-high 6.1 rebounds per game. Jules Bernard and Campbell chip in 10.5 and 10.2 points per game. Campbell has dished out a team-high 165 assists.

A ZAG WIN WOULD …
– Extend the nation’s longest active win streak to 35, and would also extend the program record.
– Extend the nation’s longest active neutral-court win streak to 14.
– Improve Corey Kispert’ career record in games he appeared in to 126-10.

MILESTONE WATCH
– Corey Kispert recently passed Matt Santangelo for fourth in Gonzaga history for most career three-pointers. Kispert is currently at 266. Richie Frahm is third at 280.
– Kispert is one win shy of third in GU history for most victories in a career (125-10 current career record). Silas Melson is third at 126.
– Kispert is 12 points from passing Jerry Vermillion for 13th in GU scoring history. (Kispert at 1,536 career points)
– Kispert is averaging 18.9 points per game on 53.5 percent from the field, 45.3 percent from the three, and 88.5 percent from the foul line. No player has averaged 20 PPG on 55/45/90 shooting in D-I in at least 30 years.
– Aaron Cook is 28 points from 1,000 in his career.

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 38-22 all-time in their 22 NCAA Tournament appearances with 11 trips to the Sweet 16, five trips to the Elite Eight, two Final Fours and an appearance in one national championship game.
– GU is 35-20 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 29-16 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.

FACT CHECKING
– During Few’s coaching career, his GU teams are 28-7 (.800) as the higher seed, including a 21-3 mark since 2009.
                – 2019: #3 Texas Tech def. #1 Gonzaga
                – 2018: #9 Florida State def. #4 Gonzaga
                – 2013: #9 Wichita State def. #1 Gonzaga
                – 2008: #10 Davidson def. #7 Gonzaga
                – 2005: #6 Texas Tech def. #3 Gonzaga
                – 2004: #10 Nevada def. #2 Gonzaga
                – 2002: #11 Wyoming def. #6 Gonzaga
– Since 2009, the Zags have lost only three games against a lower-seeded team, a span of 11 NCAA Tournaments.
– Few’s teams have also pulled seven upset wins in his 20 previous NCAA Tournaments.

THIRTY-WIN CLUB
– GU is the only program in NCAA Div. I history to have five straight 30-win seasons.
– Gonzaga has been the first team in the nation to reach the 30-win plateau in four of the last five seasons.
– GU has reached 30 wins in a season seven times, all coming in the last eight years; 32-3 in 2012-13, 35-3 in 2014-15, 37-2 in 2016-17, 32-5 in 2017-18, 31-2 last season, and currently 30-0.
– GU has finished with 29 wins three previous times.

TIMME TIME
– Drew Timme is the first player in Gonzaga history to score 20 or more points in three straight NCAA Tournament games within a single tournament.
– Those three games, are his first three NCAA Tournament games after the 2020 tournament was canceled.
– Timme is shooting 61.5 percent (32-52) from the field in this year’s tournament. He is also 21-of-25 (84.0 percent) from the free-throw line.
– The sophomore is grabbing 7.5 rebounds per tournament game, and dishing out 4.25 assists.
– He was named West Regional Most Outstanding Player following the wins over Creighton and USC.

2021 TOURNEY TIDBITS
– Along with Timme, Corey Kispert and Jalen Suggs were named NCAA Tournament All-West Region.
– Kispert is three made three-pointers away from tying Kevin Pangos for most made threes in GU career history.
– Gonzaga has three new Top-10 marks in margin of victory in the NCAA Tournament in this tournament; Norfolk State (43), USC (19), Creighton (18).
– Suggs (8), Andrew Nembhard (8) and Aaron Cook (7) all have recorded program Top-10 most assists in an NCAA Tournament game during this tournament.

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