Now that Gonzaga has done the impossible and defeated Oklahoma St. (#sarcasm), it's time to take a look at what it will take for the Zags to keep their season going. Thankfully, the narrative that this team is soft (really hasn't been an issue for years) no longer exists, so we can take a look at the three key's to victory:
1) Dictate The Tempo: Arizona is one of the top defensive teams in the country, especially with its halfcourt defense. If Gonzaga is going to get in a rhythm offensively, it will come from easy baskets in transition and running the offense to perfection. This is not a game where Pangos and Bell are going to get a ton of clean looks. Every single shot will be contested, and there will be times when the game is simply ugly. Most of the looks will have to come from the flow of the offense, rather than individuals creating shots against the athletic backcourt and disruptive frontcourt that Arizona offers.
2) Force Arizona Into Foul Trouble: While this is a very talented Wildcats team, the season-ending injury to Brandon Ashley has really eliminated any depth that they have. Arizona features only six guys that play double-figure minutes a game. This is a benefit in the NCAA Tournament with the longer timeout breaks, but if Gonzaga can get a couple of guys on Arizona into foul toruble, it will really force Sean Miller to play some guys that aren't ready for this atmosphere. The best way Gonzaga can do this is by pushing the tempo and running a crisp offense.
3) Play Loose: Outside of the Gonzaga fanbase, very few people thought the Zags even had a chance of getting by Oklahoma St and its talented roster. As a No.1 seed last year, this team was squarely on the radar of every fan and media outlet, which seemed to really weigh on them in March. This season is the complete opposite, as this group sat on the fringes of the Top 25 all year. However, one thing this group is doing, which previous Gonzaga teams failed to do, is play its best basketball of the season at the end of the year. This is a confident team that can beat Arizona if it plays well. They have nothing to lose and should play loose and have fun on the court.