Gonzaga Men's Basketball 2013 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Gonzaga Bulldogs
West Coast (31-2, 16-0)

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The Bulldogs enter the tournament as a real threat and, with a college basketball season as wild and unpredictable as this one with top teams going down almost every other night, it would almost be more of an upset if Gonzaga didn’t make the Sweet 16 than if they did. The team is relatively young with only three seniors and could be set to hold power out West for a while.

Big Wins: 11/23 vs Oklahoma (72-47), 12/15 vs Kansas State (68-52), 12/31 at Oklahoma State (69-68)
Bad Losses: 12/8 Illinois (74-85), 1/19 at Butler (63-64)
Coach: Mark Few (14 seasons at Gonzaga)

Why They Can Surprise:
Kelly Olynyk is underrated as an overall player. Olynyk could supply buckets and play strong defense for many bigger name programs across the country. He leads the team averaging 17.5 points a game and also grabs over seven rebounds on top of being nearly an 80 percent free-throw shooter. Many will argue the Bulldogs haven’t faced a tough schedule and, while they haven’t on a regular basis, Gonzaga does have a strong list of non-conference wins over Clemson, West Virginia, Baylor, Oklahoma, Kansas State and Oklahoma State. One of their two losses came at Butler by one on a buzzer beating shot. Gonzaga may be considered as one of the Cinderella’s in the tournament, but this is no ordinary Mid-Major team and nobody should even consider them a Mid-Major team. Their 78 points per game ranks in the top 15 in the nation and they are third in the country in field goal percentage at over 50 percent.

Why They Can Disappoint:
While Gonzaga has experience playing a few other teams that are in the tournament, they haven’t gone through a physical schedule like those other teams. If the Bulldogs get in a physical game, they could be roughed up and knocked off their game, or worse if the game is picky on fouls, Gonzaga may get into trouble losing top players. The loss of Olynyk would be huge, but Elias Harris, the second leading scorer and top rebounder, could be just as important late in the game. The backcourt generally does a good job staying out of foul trouble, but limiting Kevin Pangos or David Stockton would hinder the entire production of the offense.

Probable Starters:
Kevin Pangos, Sophomore, Guard, 11.5 ppg, 3.2 apg
Gary Bell Jr., Sophomore, Guard, 9.2 ppg, 2.3 apg
Guy Landry Edi, Senior, Forward, 3.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg
Elias Harris, Senior, Forward, 14.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg
Kelly Olynyk, Junior, Forward, 17.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Sam Dower, Junior, Center, 7.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg
David Stockton, Junior, Guard, 3.6 ppg, 3.3 apg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 78.0 (12th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.7 (31, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 50.3 (3, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.2 (12, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.5 (127, 4)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.3 (47, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.4 (139, 4)
Rebound Margin: 7.4 (11, 2)
Assists Per Game: 15.3 (25, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.3 (34, 1)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
2012    NCAA    Round of 64 win over West Virginia
2012    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Ohio State
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 win over St. Johns
2011    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to BYU
2010    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Florida State
2010    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Syracuse
2009    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Akron
2009    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Western Kentucky
2009    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss to North Carolina
2008    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Davidson

*all team stats through 3/10


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules