Gonzaga wasn’t always this good. In fact, they’re best summed up by a tweet that read, “Remember when people used to knock Gonzaga for not being a program that could survive the first weekend on a regular basis?”

Now, the team will head to its third elite eight in the last five years. They’ll do so with the sweet taste of revenge in their mouths after beating Florida State, who upset them in last years Sweet 16.

The no. 1 seed Bulldogs blew out the Seminoles 72-58 on Thursday night. “This year we came with revenge and we did it,” said Rui Hachiumura, who led Gonzaga with 17 points.

Gonzaga came out and played more physical than their opponent. On both offense and defense they made sure to know the limits of what they could do and push against them. “We wanted to be more physical than them, take the fight to them both on offensive and defensive ends, trying to switch up schemes and don’t let them get too comfortable,” said Zach Norvell Jr, who scored 15 points.


Brandon Clarke also played a huge role in the win. He had 15 points, 12 rebounds, and five blocked shots but more importantly had Florida State’s 7-foot-4 center, Christ Koumadje, in foul trouble early. The senior ended the night with only eight points and 12 minutes played. Clarke became the first player with 15 plus points and 5 plus blocks in consecutive tournament games.


“It’s always tough when you’re playing a player that’s 7-4, so that just always kind of has you second-guessing when you’re driving in the lane,” he said. “But I feel like this year we weren’t really doing that and we were just, you know, going in strong and just playing the game that we always play.”

After the game, the Bulldogs celebrated in the locker room and coach Mark Few made sure to do a handstand, as he’s done every time the team has won this March.

Up next for Gonzaga is Texas Tech. The two teams have played each other once before in March Madness with the Red Raiders winning 71-69 in a second-round matchup in 2005.

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