The Zags have gone up against NCAA tournament teams 11 times this season. Five of those have come in the NCAA tournament, of course, which is why they’re here. They’ve played nine different tournament teams, with three games against Saint Mary’s, a No. 7 seed who lost to Arizona in the second round.
Gonzaga was 6-0 against tournament teams in the regular season and conference tournament. That run included a five-point win against Florida, a two-point win against Iowa State, a seven-point win against Arizona, and three easy victories against Saint Mary’s, which couldn’t matchup well.
Is this a power conference slate? No. North Carolina played 15 games against tournament teams before the actual tournament, and the Tar Heels went 10-5. They had losses against Virginia and Miami, who aren’t better than some of the teams Gonzaga beat. (They also lost to non-tourney teams Indiana and Georgia Tech, while Gonzaga’s lone loss came against BYU.)
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Trevon Bluiett nearly bolted to the NBA a year ago before deciding at the last second to return to school. If he does the same thing this spring, then Xavier could be poised for yet another deep run in the NCAA tournament. If he doesn’t, Chris Mack should still have enough pieces to compete with the top of the Big East.
Game Mens Xavien Howard Jersey This year’s regional final run could be just the beginning for the Mike White era in Gainesville. The Gators lose starting point guard Kasey Hill and grad transfer Canyon Barry, but should return the other most important pieces from their surprisingly successful 2016-17 campaign. Having a healthy John Egbunu back will only make them more formidable.