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Posted on: March 22, 2009 4:53 am
 

Gonzaga vs. Western Kentucky (Game Review)

Last year, Ty Rogers had a buzzerbeater to beat Drake University, and when you win that way, sometimes you lose that way too. Its just the nature of the sporting world. What you do to teams, teams do the same thing to you down the road. This theory was proven yesterday when Gonzaga's Dmeitri Goodson a true freshman banked a 10 foot jumper to win the basketball game, as Gonzaga prevailed against a red-hot Western Kentucky team.

As I said in my preview Gonzaga needed to contain Orlando Mendez Valdez, and Gonzaga was really in trouble in the first half, when Mendez-Valdez nailed 4 straight threes, and had 17 points in the first 7 minutes, and Pettigrew great as well..... As the game progressed, and Mark Few made the adjustment to put the quicker and younger Dmetri Goodson on Orlando Mendez-Valdez, Goodson didn't let him score at all the rest of the half.

To start the next half, however, Gonzaga had a good nice run combined with a Stephen gray three to take the lead to nine. Western Kentucky continued to battle, and never gave up, and had a couple of Mendez-Valdez threes. At the very end though, Mendez-Valdez missed a potential game-tying three, and then another WKU player tipped it in for the tie. Then the freshman Goodson ran coast to coast to give the Zags the lead with 0.9 seconds left. As soon as the Zags got the basket, the WKU Coach was trying to call Timeout, but the officials missed the call, and the game was over after a half court heave that went wide right.

As Gonzaga and its fans will prevail until at least next Thursday, i would like to congratulate Western Kentucky and their fans on a great game and a season. You guys are a good team, that definetly deserved to be in the tournament, again. You guys should continue to dominate the Sun Belt in coming years. Great game, guys.

Highlights (as always) ..... right here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuxo1PuynsU

Oh and how the hell do I mention the game without the great play of Slaughter? Him and Mendez-Valdez are the class of this team. great game Hilltoppers!

Posted on: March 21, 2009 7:59 pm
 

What the hell is a Hilltopper? Game Preview:

Gonzaga will battle Western Kentucky in a game to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. The mission is simple. Win, or go home. But completing this "simple" mission, is NOT going to be the easiest of all tasks that I have ever seen before me. So, here we go.

What is a Hilltopper?

Apparently the school [Western Kentucky] sits on the top of a hill. Got that? OK, well that was simple. But what the heck is their red blob of a monster (or mascot)????? I have never seen such a thing make absolute no sense to me before... but here we go. So apparently as I have flipped around the internet one common answer I found was a startling one that still made no sense to me at all. I found out that this was a blob of blood from the enemy's team. Not sure if this is entirely true or not bu that was the common answer. I tried, but in frustration of getting this answer and a few distinct others, I have that to report.

So we got thtat outta the way, here is the game preview (sorry for the shortness, but I gotta watch the game ya know) .....

Basically Courtney Lee is not on the floor for tonights game. Big Loss? Certainly. Absolutely Crucial? NO. One thing Gonzaga MUST do tonight is stop that pesky Orlando Mendez-Valdez. He can shoot the ball from anywhere on the court and if they don't stop them, they will lose. Not even going to be close. I think Gonzaga will try to slow the game down, and use the effective weapons that they can. Passing the ball to Stephen Gray, and leaving backdoor cuts to Matt Bouldin will be crucial. Leaving nobody open on WKU will also be crucial. Gonzaga needs to surround everyone with thier height, and lanky-ness  and knock down every ball they see. Creating turnovers by steals of Bouldin, and daye will also be key.

On WKU's side, I think if they speed up the pace of the game, and shoot transition threes (and make them), they have a really good shot to win, and no I am not kidding. This team already has a ton of experience and has a very good guard in Mendez-Valdez. This is going to be hard for me to watch at times, but I hope we pull it out.

My Prediction: Gonzaga 84 Western Kentucky 80.

Go ZAGS! 

Posted on: March 20, 2009 10:32 pm
Edited on: March 20, 2009 10:34 pm
 

Gonzaga vs. Akron (game in review)

Gonzaga, like many of the top seeds this week came out very sluggish... and then they turned it on...

To start, like I said in my preview that Gonzaga can't guard the perimeter shooting. Gonzaga proved me right.. All they did all day was let Akron shoot the three, and they kept draining them. As the game progressed, Austin Daye and Josh Heytvelt both had dunks to light the crowd up to get them back in the game, as the crowd was pro Zaga...

Akron proved me wrong and played with nothing to lose and had the will to win as they were up by 4 at the half. With about 10 minutes left in the game I felt like we were too much for the Zips, Stephen Gray took a 3 down 49-47 and that three was good and they went on to control the game from there to take the lead 50-47.

What was wierd was what came later, a 31-6 run to end the ball game. Akron just ran out of gas, as Gonzaga started to click on all cylinders. You can't lay down on Gonzaga if you expect to win a basketball game. This game was done and over with with about 2:30 to go. Akron just couldn't hang with the Zags at the end. And a Micah Downs three, and then a Jeremy Pargo MONSTER JAM capped the game for a Gonzaga victory 77-64.

I give them credit, they played the best they could, but the better team came out on top.

Congrats Zips! You gave us all we could handle.

BTW, here are the game highlights:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ei7O9wxtxoI

Gonzaga will play #12 seeded Western Kentucky tomorrow.

 

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 18, 2009 5:15 pm
Edited on: March 26, 2009 3:36 pm
 

What the hell is a Zip????

As the tournament rolls around quicker than ever before, the Zags finished last year off to another dissapointment to another cinderella in Davidson. This year however, Gonzaga looks to make a mark in the tournament, and they start with the Akron Zips.

The first question that comes outta your mouth probably isn't if Gonzaga is going to win the game or not, its probably something like this:

"What the hell is a Zip????" Well, origionally short for "Zippers" Akron decided on this nickname back in the early years of their collegiate athletics, and the students voted for their nickname. Don't ask me why either, I read it a few years back, and that is all that stuck in my mind. Anways, the Akron mascot is not a zipper, its actually a female kangaroo named Zippy. Zippy is only one a select few female mascots in the entire country.

The others? Well I will only include some of the more familiar schools, and you can differentiate amongst yourselves....

Lulu the female Bulldog (Gardner-Webb University)
Ralphie the Buffalo (Colorado University)
Udee the Hen (Delaware University)
Frieda the Falcon (Bowling Green University)
Penny the Penguin (Youngstown State University)
Lucy the Lobo [a companion to the origional and other mascot of Louie the Lobo] (New Mexico University)

So, now that we got the whole "Zips" Thing outta the way, lets get to my preview....

In this battle of Gonzaga vs. Akron, I would like to tell you one thing. The Zags like to play any kinda style of basketball. Whether its run and gun or the half court offense, they can play either to full potential. In this matchup with the Zips, I look for them to be scoring on a ton of transition points, and keeping the Zips to a full minimum of half court defense. Keep them running, and also try to keep Matt Bouldin involved in every way possible.

Also, for Akron, they will probably play the half court style game, and they will try to feed the ball to their best players. However, best players don't fit into the mix, when talking about Akron. While they only score about 55-65 points a game, they spread the ball around, and aren't selfish with the ball, nor do they make mistakes. The two highest scorers on their team are Brett McKnight (11.4 ppg) and Nate Linhart (10.1 ppg) ....

Soooo... basically they will play a lot of keep away to my belief and try to keep the Zags off balance (even though that will be hard to do.)

In the game for the Zags, perimeter shooting should take a lot out of the Zips early, as I think Stephen Gray should shoot the 3-ball with rather ease in this one. I think he gets around 4 or 5 makes in this one. Backdoor cuts to Matt Bouldin, and Bouldin lifting spirtis giving alley-oops to Josh Heytvelt will be key too. With Jeremy Pargo not the primary target for this team to get points, I think Pargo will get a lot more assists, and mid range jumpers in this one. Pargo will differentiate between the two, and should have a solid (but not great) game.

Overall, I think the Zips hang tight with the Zags early, but after halftime, they fall apart. I am not sure the Defense of Akron can keep ALL of the Zags weapons down.

Zags win this one something like 84-58.

An overview of the game will be written after the game tomorrow. Should be a good one, and if the Zips win this game or keep it closer than I think, I won't be afraid to admit I was wrong, but that is just how I see it folks.

 

 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com