by Lauren Altmeyer ’17
The Gonzaga Bulldogs have made the tournament for 19 consecutive seasons, but have only made the Elite Eight twice and have never advanced past that round. This year, however, will be different. The Bulldogs have the potential to go all the way and win their first National Championship.
The Bulldogs were practically undefeated this season, losing only to the Brigham Young University Cougars, giving them a 34-1 record thus far. In the past, Gonzaga has relied heavily on one or two guys to score, but this year the team has five players averaging double digit points. Players such as Nigel Williams-Goss, an all American point guard; Prezemek Karnowski, one of the best true centers in the nation; and Zach Collins, a potential first round pick in the NBA, give the team a considerable amount of depth. Williams-Goss, a transfer from the University of Washington, leads the team in scoring with 569 points, averaging 16.7 points per game.
After a big win over Northwestern, the team celebrated Head Coach Mark Few’s 500th win with the Bulldogs. The 612 games it took to get there are the third fewest of any coach to reach the mark. The win also gave Karnowski his 134th win, which is the most wins for any player in NCAA history.
With a fantastic head coach, numerous star players, and an intense will to win, the Gonzaga Bulldogs have an excellent chance at walking away as champions this year.
by Jake Scearbo ’17
After the first weekend of play in the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament, a large majority of brackets have been busted. Despite powerhouse teams like Villanova, Duke, and Louisville losing early in the tournament, the clear favorite all along was the Kentucky Wildcats. The second seeded Wildcats are entering the Sweet Sixteen coming off a gritty victory over Wichita State and are poised to continue this success.
A trio of talented freshmen leads the Wildcats every time they step on the floor. The most notable is Malik Monk, who averaged 20 points per game this season and is one of the best scorers and shot makers in the tournament. De’Aaron Fox, the stellar freshman point guard, is dynamic on the fast break and dictates the tempo of the Wildcats. When Fox is scoring and creating for his teammates, Kentucky is very difficult to defeat.
The last of the trio, Bam Adebayo, is a physical specimen, coming off two straight double doubles in this tournament. When Kentucky gives him post touches and he is rebounding at a high rate, Kentucky receives a huge boost both offensively and defensively. Freshmen do not win teams National Championships, though.
The Wildcats have two seniors, Dominique Hawkins and Derek Willis, and one sophomore, Isaiah Briscoe, who will be a key in securing another championship for this storied program. The combination of talented freshmen and experienced seniors is a recipe that will deliver a championship to Wildcat nation.