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Gonzaga Basketball

A look back: Arizona and GU prove to be a close match

By Michael Gulledge

Historically, the Arizona Wildcats have been a tough opponent for Gonzaga.

Saturday’s matchup with the Wildcats is the eighth between the two West Coast powerhouses. This includes meetings in the 2003 and 2014 NCAA tournament, which both resulted in losses for the Zags. Overall, the Wildcats lead the head-to-head series winning six of the seven previous meetings.

Gonzaga’s lone victory against the Wildcats came in 2011, when the Bulldogs won 71-60 in Seattle. Elias Harris led the Zags with 25 points and eight rebounds.

In the 2003 NCAA tournament, Gonzaga lost in double overtime to Arizona 96-95 in the second round. The Bulldogs were a nine seed in the West region, and Arizona was the top seed. The Wildcats were also ranked as a No 1 seed when they defeated Gonzaga 84-61 in the 2014 NCAA tournament.

Last season, Gonzaga could not capitalize on a 10-point halftime lead as it lost to Arizona 68-63 in Spokane. Kyle Wiltjer led the Bulldogs with 33 points, and Gabe York of the Wildcats scored 18 with 14 of them in the second half. Click here for Jim Meehan’s story and here for John Blanchette’s column on the game.

Arizona won the first-ever meeting 101-87 on Nov. 29, 2000.