A lot of things come to mind when I hear the words: "Gonzaga vs. Arizona". Now, it will finally feel good to associate the term victory with those words. Ever since Blake Stepp's running bank shot missed in the 2003 NCAA Tournament, Gonzaga fans have been chomping at the bit to get some revenge on the Wildcats. Arizona's upset of the 4th ranked Bulldogs in 2008 may have actually stung more as the Bulldogs went on to lose to Portland State and Utah soon after that loss. While the Bulldogs made it to the Sweet Sixteen that year, there will always be questions about what they could have done had they not ran into the freight train that was the North Carolina Tarheels. While today's game won't erase those questions, it was fun to see the Zags come out with a win over the Wildcats.
Elias Harris was simply a man amongst boys today in what was one of his best performances in recent memory. Everything slowed down for Elias today as he caught the ball in good position and made a number of great moves to the basket. Most importantly, Elias was consistent throughout. Sure he had a few lapses but overall, Elias was a constant force throughout. Harris had 27 points on 12-16 from the floor and pulled in seven boards. Overall, he was pretty darn flawless.
As cliche as it sounds, today's win really was a team effort. The defense was incredible particularly in the first half. Arizona was shooting down around 30% at halftime as Mike Hart, Gary Bell, Guy Landry and co. all swarmed the 'Cats from the jump. It was refreshing to see a game where Gonzaga actually came out and were the aggressor. Arizona trotted out an undersized lineup and the Bulldogs took advantage.
While this is not going to be an Arizona team that goes down in the record books, this was a win that the Bulldogs needed after a couple subpar efforts against quality opponents. This is definitely one to be enjoyed as Butler awaits the Zags on Tuesday.