Busting Brackets

Gonzaga Basketball: 3 reasons why Bulldogs pulled off the upset win over Kentucky

Gonzaga v Kentucky
Gonzaga v Kentucky / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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1. Incredible frontcourt play

Gonzaga’s strength is its bigs, which ultimately came through in the biggest of ways. Graham Ike led all scorers with 23 points on 10/17 shooting and was nearly impossible for freshmen Aaron Bradshaw and Zvonimir Ivisic to guard one-on-one. Anton Watson was his usual great self, going for 17 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. 

Plus, he mostly held his own defensively at the three-spot, even though he had to deal with guards. It helped that Coach Calipari didn’t play Rob Dillingham in the second half to try and exploit that matchup but Gonzaga won’t complain.

A special note should go to Ben Gregg, who finished with 14 points and two of the team’s four made three-pointers in the game. He had 11 points in the first half to give Gonzaga the lead and the confidence that they could win the game. Gregg also held his own defensively, making some key hustle plays in the second half that the Bulldogs took advantage of. 

Gonzaga needed the frontcourt to outplay Kentucky with Tre Mitchell out and while forward Adou Thiero did well himself, the Bulldogs’ rebounding advantage and ability to get good shots up close proved to be decisive.