Breakdown: Arizona vs. Gonzaga

Arizona will play Gonzaga on Sunday for the right to go the the Sweet Sixteen and face San Diego State. Read on for a complete positional breakdown, statistics, and more.

Arizona vs. Gonzaga
Mar. 23 at 6:40 pm
Viejas Arena


Overall Record 31-4 (.882) 29-6 (.828)
Location Record 5-1 (.833) on a neutral court

2-0 (1.000) at Viejas

7-2 (.778) on a neutral court

1-0 (1.000) at Viejas

Scoring/G: PF&PA(Rank) 73.1 (111) 58.1 (5) 77.1 (35) 65.4 (59)
Rebound Margin/G: RM(Rank) 8.4 (4) 2.9 (68)
5.9 (201) 6.6 (118)
Assists/G: A(Rank)
15.1 (39) 14.6 (55)
Field-Goal Percentage: FG%(Rank) 46.8 (50) 49.8 (6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 3FG%(Rank) 35.6 (111) 39.7 (8)
Field-Goal Percentage Against: FG%(Rank) 38.1 (7) 39.4 (17)
Ranking: Coaches' Poll #5 N/A
AP Poll
#4 N/A


2 (.6664) 22 (.6114)
Point Guard

PG: T.J. McConnell (6-1, 195, Jr.) vs. David Stockton (5-11, 165, Sr.)

Stockton is a solid, but not spectacular player. He has the capability of scoring, although he has not really done it against the better teams he has seen this season. McConnell played awful against Weber State and after the game said he needs to play better against the Zags. When he has played poorly this season, McConnell has done a good job of following it up with a strong game. Stockton tends to struggle against teams with size and he is the type of player that McConnell can usually handle. We will give McConnell the advantage here, but he has to play better.

Shooting Guard

SG: Nick Johnson (6-3, 200, Jr.) vs. Kevin Pangos (6-2, 180, Jr.)

Pangos did not necessarily shoot well against Oklahoma State, but he played great and was a big reason why Gonzaga won. When Pangos gets in a groove, there aren't many other guards in the country that can shoot as well as he can. More than half of his shots come from behind the arc and he hits 41 percent of them, which is solid. Johnson was able to completely shut down Berry except for free-throws and Pangos is the type of player he generally has success with. It will be tough for him to get into the lane and Arizona does a good job at closing out on shooters. Johnson has to be careful here, but he is the better player.

Small Forward

SF: Gabe York ( 6-3, 180, So.) vs. Gary Bell (6-2, 205, Jr.)

Yes, we know that York is a shooting guard, but we went with defensive matchups here and we would be surprised if York is guarding Pangos. Still, Bell presents a challenge and it is one that if York is not up for, Hollis-Jefferson is going to get. Bell has been playing his best basketball as of late, scoring in double figures in his last four games. He shoots 43 percent from behind the arc and when he gets going is as dangerous as anybody on this team. If York can make his open shots and defend well, he will be fine, but Bell is still the better player.

Power Forward

PF: Aaron Gordon (6-9, 225, Fr.) vs. Sam Dower (6-9, 243, Sr.)

Dower is probably Gonzaga's best player and he plays more like a center than he does a forward. Gordon is going to have his work cut out for him because even though he is one of the best defenders in the country, Dower is as strong as they come on the block. It really is an interesting situation because he is going to have difficulty guarding Gordon's speed and Gordon could have difficulty with Dower's strength. If Arizona contains Dower, and it generally does fine with players like him, the Wildcats' chances of winning increase dramatically.


C: Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, 235, So.) vs. Przemek Karnowski (7-1, 296, So.)

If you are an Arizona fan that watched Karnowski for the first time when he faced Oklahoma State, you probably got some fool's gold. That was the best game he has played all season and Oklahoma State had absolutely no answer for him because of his lack of size. When Karnowksi has gone against bigger players, he comes back down to earth and struggles with fouls. Tarczewski is the better player and he has the ability to get Karnowski into foul trouble. Gonzaga's guards are probably going to be slapping at the ball, so he needs to be careful to avoid turnovers. We doubt anybody really has a big advantage here, but we will go with the better overall player.


Bench: Gonzaga goes seven deep with Kyle Dranginis and Drew Barham getting minutes. Dranginis will get about 25 minutes and while he is not an explosive scorer, he gets the job done. Barham is a dangerous three-point shooter, but if they are not going in, he does not impact the game much. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is easily the best player off the bench in this game, which gives Arizona the advantage.


Coaching: Sean Miller vs. Mark Few

What Few has done at Gonzaga is remarkable. As far as this year's squad goes, it is well coached and about as together of a team as you will see, which is a reflection of its coach. Miller has to be considered one of the best coaches in the country and Few probably does too. We doubt either one is out-coaching the other, so we're making this even.


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Prediction: This is probably more difficult to pick than Arizona fans may want to admit. Gonzaga matches up well with Arizona in that it has plenty of capable size. If Arizona rebounds like it did against Weber State, it is going to lose. The key here is to make sure Gonzaga is not able to get into any type of shooting rhythm. Arizona has generally done well at that and we are hard-pressed to see Gonzaga going off. Our guess is that Gonzaga will play man, but sag off Gordon and Hollis-Jefferson, which a lot of teams have done this season. Weber State was a wake-up call and we just have this feeling that Arizona will come out strong and pull away late.

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