Tournament Teams 2007 - NCAA First Round Just when the West Coast Conference – and perhaps the rest of the country – thought the pesky Bulldogs of Gonzaga University wouldn’t be toiling in March, look who made a ninth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2007. With 2006 national scoring champion Adam Morrison and inside force J.P. Batista applying their trade in the NBA and overseas, respectively, the Bulldogs seemed ripe for a plucking in 2006. And for the first 31 games of the season, it appeared a return trip to the NCAA Tournament wasn’t quite the slam dunk it had become in recent years. But the Bulldogs, trailing Santa Clara University by one game for the West Coast Conference regular-season title entering the final weekend of the regular season, won a pair of big games on the road while seeing the Broncos drop their final two games to give Gonzaga its seventh straight regular-season title and send the squad into the WCC Tournament as the No. 1 seed. Once there, the Bulldogs beat the University of San Diego and the Broncos for another trip to March Madness. The ninth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament ranked Gonzaga sixth for the longest active NCAA Tournament streak, and head coach Mark Few is ninth in consecutive appearances with eight since assuming the head job. The Bulldogs once again burst onto the national scene early in the season, winning the West Regional pod of the NIT Season Tip-off in the Spokane Arena and advancing to the NIT Final Four in Madison Square Garden. The Bulldogs downed second-ranked University of North Carolina and All-America center Tyler Hansbrough in the semifinals before falling to Butler in the title game. An early-December thumping of the University of Texas in the Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge in Phoenix, Ariz., and standout freshman Kevin Durant, who seven months later would be the second pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, had the Bulldogs back in the Top 25. Another tough schedule saw the Bulldogs schedule dotted with nine teams that went on to play in the NCAA Tournament and another in the NIT, and 10 teams were ranked in the Top 25 at some point of the season. Few earned his 200th career victory Jan. 13 at Santa Clara, his 200th win coming in his 247th game to rank him
third on the “Fastest To 200 Wins” list in NCAA Division I history. He also ended the season with 211 career victories, ranking him third for 8th-year head coaches behind Everett Case and Roy Williams. Despite all of the early-season success, the road was a little more bumpy than usual for the Bulldogs. When Josh Heytvelt and his 15.5 ppg and team-leading 7.7 rpg were suspended Feb. 10 for violation of team rules, the Bulldogs rallied as a team. Seniors Derek Raivio and Sean Mallon were looked to for even more leadership. Sophomore Jeremy Pargo; juniors David Pendergraft and Abdullahi Kuso; sophomore Micah Downs who wasn’t even eligible until second semester after transferring the previous year at mid-season; freshman Matt Bouldin, and seldom-used freshman Will Foster all raised their game and made significant contributions over the final nine regularseason games and two WCC Tournament games to extend the Bulldogs season deep into March once again. Raivio became the 29th member of Gonzaga’s 1,000-point club and set a school and single-season records for free throw percentage while leading the nation in free throw accuracy at 96.1 percent. He set school and WCC records for consecutive free throws made at 44, then later in the season smashed that record by sinking 56 straight. He earned WCC CoPlayer of the Year accolades, the seventh straight Bulldog to earn the conference’s top award. He paced the league with his 18.0 ppg. He was also accorded Associated Press All-America honorable mention honors. Other Bulldogs honored were Pargo, a first-team pick; Bouldin, an All-Freshman Team selection, and Mallon, an honorable mention honoree. Gonzaga also extended its nationleading home winning streak to 50 games – the last 12 in the old Kennel and 38 straight in the 3-year-old McCarthey Athletic Center – before seeing the streak go by the wayside in a loss to SCU. Gonzaga won its Senior Night game to push its record in the McCarthey Athletic Center to 39-1.
GONZAGA A AM MEN’S ’ BASKETBALL A A 2009-10
2009-10 Gonzaga Men's Basketball Media Guide