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Gonzaga Basketball
Mark Few's SWEET 16

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A 'what-if' bracket buster

John Blanchette
John Blanchette
Could sophomore Kevin Pangos handle senior Kevin Pangos? Would the most embattled Gonzaga team of the last decade have a shot against the only Bulldogs to climb to No. 1? Would Adam Morrison go off for 40 points on Kyle Wiltjer – and vice versa? And who were the dolts who seeded a 28-3 team that climbed to No. 3 in the polls behind their Bulldog brothers who never cracked the Top 25? Have we got a debate for you. Welcome to the bracket of Zag on Zag.

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‘One Shining Moment’ '14-’15

Ronny Turiaf stretching his jersey taut and screaming toward the rafters. Jeremy Pargo soaring up for a tomahawk dunk. Dan Dickau letting fly with a 3 from the Les Schwab logo. Adam Morrison standing atop the scorer’s table with arms raised high. The Kennel Club brandishing Fatheads of Robert Sacre, Mike Hart – and a special memorial image of Fr. Tony Lehmann. Little Meech Goodson leaping to rub the head of Will Foster after the 7-foot-5 giant swats a shot.

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Round One Results

Northern Quest's EPIC Sports Region First Round

2005-2006 over 2010-2011 (80-71) Steven Gray's 34 points keep the '10-'11 Zags close, but two thunderous dunks by Erroll Knight break it open for the '05-'06s, who get 33 from Adam Morrison and a routine double-double from J.P. Batista. 2000-2001 over 2009-2010 (88-74) Dan Dickau misses his first seven shots for the '00-'01s, but gets himself going with a 26-footer in transition and finishes with 29 points, offsetting a 32-point, 14-rebound effort by freshman Elias Harris.

Kalico Kitchen Region First Round

2012-2013 over 2006-2007 (81-67) Much too much Kelly Olynyk - 31 points, 15 rebounds - for the depleted '06-'07s, though Derek Raivio's 5-of-5 effort from the arc keep them within four-to-six points until the final three minutes. 2001-2002 over 2004-2005 (72-70) Anthony Reason wins a wild fight for a rebound and scores with 26 seconds left, and Blake Stepp's steal caps the bracket's first "upset." Foul trouble limits '04-'05 bigs, and Adam Morrison's 29 points aren't enough.

Les Schwab Tire Region First Round

2014-2015 over 2007-2008 (75-68) The length of Austin Daye, Josh Heytvelt and Abdullahi Kuso bother the '14-'15 bigs for a while, but 15-second-half points by Kyle Wiltjer help the top seeds overcome Matt Bouldin's 26 points 1999-2000 over 2003-2004 (98-97) Three OTs are needed to settle this one, and Ronny Turiaf's 35 points have the '03-'04s on the verge of an upset. But Axel Dench banks in a 3 to force the last period, and Matt Santangelo's runner at the buzzer wins it.

Edward Jones Region First Round

2008-2009 over 2013-2014 (71-67) When the flu sends Josh Heytvelt to the locker room just four minutes in, the '08-'09s improvise with Micah Downs against Sam Dower and rely on their bigger guards. Matt Bouldin's 24 points lead the way. 2011-2012 over 2002-2003 (87-77) It's a big shooting night for freshmen Kevin Pangos (25 points) and Gary Bell Jr. (21) in another minor upset, and more disappointment for Ronny Turiaf despite a 30-point, 13-rebound effort.

Round Two Results

Northern Quest's EPIC Sports Region Second Round

2005-2006 over 2000-2001 (76-71) With Casey Calvary sidelined by two ticky-tack fouls, the '05-'06s build a 22-point lead on J.P. Batista's 27 points. Blake Stepp and reserve Alex Hernandez rally the '00-'01s within a basket before Derek Raivio's foul shots cinch it.

Kalico Kitchen Region Second Round

2012-2013 over 2001-2001 (84-79) Everyone loves the shootout between guards Dan Dickau (30 points) and Kevin Pangos (28), but Mike Hart's dirty work and a 3-pointer to beat the shot clock in the last minute sends the '12-'13s to the Final Four.

Les Schwab Tire Region Second Round

2014-2015 over 1999-2000 (83-80) Another overtime, forced when Casey Calvary tips in a rare miss by Richie Frahm (25 points). But Byron Wesley, smothered by Mike Nilson, muscles in a pull-up, and a steal by Kyle Dranginis seals it for the '14-'15s.

Edward Jones Region Second Round

2008-2009 over 2011-2012 (89-67) Jeremy Pargo dunks not once, not twice but three times, posterizing all the '11-'12s in a shocking romp fueled by 59.5 percent shooting. After a sizzling first round, Pangos and Bell make just 3 of 19 shots between them.

Semifinal Results

Northern Quest's EPIC Sports and Les Schwab Tire Regional Semifinal

2014-2015 over 2005-2006 (79-78) Oh, oh. We forgot Dave Libbey was assigning refs from the WCC office. Over-officiating puts both teams in foul trouble, and the ’14-’15s depth pays off. Eric McClellan sinks the game-winning free throws with 2.3 seconds left.

Kalico Kitchen and Edward Jones Regional Semifinal

2012-2013 over 2008-2009 (78-73) A first-hand look at the evolution of Gonzaga big men tips in favor of Kelly Olynyk (23 points) and Elias Harris (22). They need every point, too, after playing off Demetri Goodson and watching the freshman guard nail four 3-pointers.

Mark Few's Sweet 16 Champions

The 2014-2015 Gonzaga Bulldogs

Sophomore Pangos outduels senior Pangos 17-12. Senior Bell trumps soph Bell 15-10. Junior Karnowski hits 3-pointer, freshman Shem makes all his free throws. Domantas Sabonis muscles in a putback with 2.3 seconds left for the winner.


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