Gonzaga Basketball: 3 keys for Bulldogs to defeat No. 16 Virginia Cavaliers

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Gonzaga Basketball Tony Bennett Virginia Cavaliers (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Gonzaga Basketball has yet another game against a ranked opponent; this time the defensive juggernaut known as Virginia.

No. 1 Gonzaga Basketball has taken full advantage of getting back onto the court after taking a “pause” due to covid issues. Last week, they took on the No. 3 Iowa Hawkeyes and led by as much as 20 points, before winning, 99-88. The Bulldogs were finally able to take it easy in the past few days, finally back at home, and played back-to-back games against Northwestern State on Monday and Tuesday.

The results were never going to be in doubt, although the Bulldogs did give up 61 points in the second half of game two after allowing just 17 in the first 20 minutes. The goal was to give some minutes to those that wouldn’t normally play in high-profile games, most notable freshmen Dominick Harris and Julian Strawther. Both played in double-digit minutes and showed signs of long-term promise. Look for them to be part of the rotation in WCC play but not necessarily against their next opponent.

Virginia (4-1) was in a similar position as the Bulldogs over a week ago, having to go on pause as well. It canceled their matchup with the Villanova Wildcats, while Gonzaga couldn’t play Baylor. Now the Cavaliers have a major opportunity to beat the No. 1 team in the country. They got any potential rust out of the way with a 36-point win earlier in the week over William & Mary.

This will be the ultimate battle between a great offense and a great defense, with two Hall of Fame head coaches going at it on a neutral site court in Texas. Gonzaga looks to remain unbeaten with what may be the toughest test left on its current remaining schedule. Here is the key for the Bulldogs to remain without a defeat.

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