HOUSTON -- Gonzaga Bulldogs coach Mark Few received all the affirmation he needed from his team before New Year's Day. He saw it in the way the Bulldogs fought the Texas Longhorns, with the talented roster that made them a preseason Final Four contender, during a secret scrimmage in October. He saw it again in the locker room when the Bulldogs knew they let one get away in a three-point overtime loss at the Arizona Wildcats. So as Gonzaga, on the verge of making program history if it advances to the Final Four, faces college basketball royalty in the Elite Eight on Sunday, Few knows his team can handle the magnitude of both the game and the college basketball brand that is the Duke Blue Devils.
LOS ANGELES -- The Wisconsin Badgers advanced to the Final Four with an 85-78 win over the Arizona Wildcats in the Elite Eight at the Staples Center on Saturday. Here are five observations from that game: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s impact: In the first half, it was clear early that Arizona would have trouble -- again -- with Frank Kaminsky. His mobility, his range, his size. The Wildcats didn’t have a great answer for him last year, and they faced the same dilemma in Saturday’s game.
To return to the NCAA tournament, a team needs contributions from returning players and incoming recruits. Here's a look at Arizona and its chances of dancing again in 2016. Quick references: 2014-15 roster 2015 recruiting Possible 2015-16 starting five G Gabe York G Parker Jackson-Cartwright G Allonzo Trier F Ryan Anderson C Dusan Ristic Who is lost: Each season, it is becoming a regularity in Sean Miller's program that an underclassmen bolts to the NBA -- and this year is no exception.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Let the rest of the world use words like "shocking," "surprising" or "unexpected." They prefer "deserved" and "earned." The Louisville Cardinals and Michigan State Spartans know most everyone else in the world didn't expect to see them here, 40 minutes away from a Final Four berth in the NCAA tournament. But they did. There is no faith like blind faith, the kind that makes you look past the odds -- beyond even the reality -- and see a path no one else does.