NCAA West Regional preview: Gonzaga vs. West Virginia and Xavier vs. Arizona

NCAA West Regional preview: Gonzaga vs. West Virginia and Xavier vs. Arizona

I should have drove it to the basket, but knowing it was a 3-point game, I tried to go for the 3, since I'd been hitting.

MI senior point guard Derrick Walton is playing the best basketball of his career and has had a huge role in this team looking like a different (and much better) version of itself from the Big Ten season.

Gonzaga, the No. 1 seed in the West region, capitalized on it all and advanced to the Elite Eight with a 61-58 win over the fourth-seeded Mountaineers at the SAP Center.

"Playing in the Big 12 you play in some very tough venues", Huggins said.

The Bulldogs were leading the nation in fewest points allowed per possession and were No. 2 in both field-goal percentage defense and fewest points allowed per game.

West Virginia would tie the game at 22-all with under five minutes left in the half as the game took on the same frenetic pace that the Mountaineers thrive upon in the first half.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7:39 p.m ET on TBS. From the end of January through the second round of the NCAA tournament, few teams in the country have played as well as Arizona.

Gonzaga swept a home-and-home the ensuing two seasons, winning 84-50 in Spokane and 80-76 in Morgantown.

There wasn't much action from either team in first 20 minutes unless it came from the charity stripe.

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Six of the Bears' seven losses came against tournament teams, so the level of competition should be no problem. And it's how Gonzaga beat West Virginia on Thursday night, moving one win away from its first Final Four. "We root for each other", Few said. "He's a block guy". Gonzaga scored on a putback in transition after the first and then went 1 of 2 at the foul line after the second. Since February 11, they're 6-7. When they were trapped, the Gonzaga big men were able to help out with their passing.

And it's not like they've faced premier defenses this season.

"We keep that chip on our shoulder", Carter said. "Texas has size. Baylor has size". They were becoming a great team before the story.

Blueitt led all scorers with 25 points for Xavier, which shot 52.8 percent as a team.

In addition to Carter, WVU had four others in double digits: Daxter Miles, Jr.

"You really don't get into a rhythm", senior Nathan Adrian said. I think he sold his soul in exchange for a Cubs World Series win and the Devil threw in this tourney run as a signing bonus.

No. 5-seed Notre Dame could not handle the Mountaineer's defense, committing 14 turnovers and losing to the Mountaineer's 83-71. We foul a lot - it's just the way we play. "Sometimes it worked. But we're going to put forth 100 percent and we're going to live and die with it".

In our last look, West Virginia's centers and forwards, below, work a pass-and-cut drill before finishing toward the bucket. "That's what we pride ourselves on". The Bulldogs have made only two other appearances in the Elite Eight, losing to eventual champion CT in 1999 and falling to eventual champion Duke in 2015.