West powers Gonzaga and Arizona hook up Saturday at McKale Center for one of the best non-conference matchups of the college basketball season. Both teams are 7-0. GU is No. 9; Arizona No. 3. Both have Final Four ambitions. The winner could have a decided edge in seeding when Selection Sunday rolls around.
I checked in recently with Byron Wesley, whose USC teams went 1-4 vs. Arizona, 0-2 at McKale Center, and Wesley's father, Byron Sr., and put together a feature on the Zag senior wing that will run in Saturday's S-R. Here's a link. In case you missed it, John Blanchette wrote about the GU-Arizona series, past and present in Friday's S-R.
You can find numerous Wildcats stories from the Arizona Daily Star here.
More on the matchup below.
--Curious to see how the Kevin Pangos/Kyle Wiljter pick-and-roll, which has been highly productive thus far, fares against the defensive-minded Wildcats.
--Gonzaga is 0-2 all-time in Top 10 matchups. The most recent was No. 8 Gonzaga falling to No. 4 Memphis 83-72 in 2005.
--The Zags are 1-4 against the Wildcats since 2000, including a blowout loss in the 2014 NCAA tournament.
--Arizona dominated GU in last year's NCAA tournament but Przemek Karnowski had a strong game against UA 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski with team highs in points (14) and rebounds (10). Tarczewski had 6 points and 5 boards.
--Arizona coach Sean Miller has a winning record against nearly every opponent, but he's 1-2 against the Zags.
--The Wildcats have won 25 straight at McKale Center.
--Arizona has won 34 straight non-conference games, tops in the nation. UA's last non-conference loss was to Gonzaga, in the 2011 Battle in Seattle.
--Arizona has held its last five opponents below 40-percent shooting.
--GU's Domas Sabonis has made 13 straight field-goal attempts.
--All but one of Gonzaga's victories have been by double digits. Five of UA's seven wins are by double figures.
--The Wildcats have four consecutive Top 10 recruiting classes. Kentucky is the only other school with four straight.
--Gonzaga will entertain Arizona next season at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
--Arizona has been ranked in the Top 10 in the last 24 polls. The Wildcats have been in the Top 5 for 22 straight weeks.
--The Wildcats' Brandon Ashley, Stanley Johnson and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson are on the Naismith Award watch list. Hollis-Jefferson comes off the bench, but usually plays starters minutes. Kevin Pangos represents GU on the list.