After the close home loss to Saint Mary’s, Gonzaga remained without a Quad 1 win. And just as problematic a storyline for them has been the continued struggles of both USC and Syracuse, who got swept this week and could end up being Quad 3 wins by Selection Sunday.
After beating Portland this week, the Bulldogs went on the road in a rare non-con game at Kentucky, one of the last Quad 1 opportunities. On paper, it looked like a bad matchup for a team that can struggle to score against good teams, taking on the No. 1 scoring offense in the nation.
Gonzaga got off to a strong start, up by 10 points at the half. They survived a big run by the Wildcats and found a way to win at the end, 89-85. Graham Ike had 23 points to lead all scorers, while Anton Watson and Nolan Hickman each went for 17.
It’s a quality signature win for the Bulldogs, giving them life on the bubble. They have a trio of easy WCC games in the next two weeks, before the massive road trip at San Francisco and Saint Mary’s at the end of the regular season that’ll determine if Gonzaga needs the auto-bid in the conference tournament or not.