The 2013 team won 13 conference games by more than 10 points.
Joining Oregon in the Final Four is Gonzaga, which trounced Xavier 83-59 in the West Regional championship. As an 11 seed, they'll face the no. 1 seed in the West region on Saturday. "It's hard to get where we are".
The Musketeers were the lone double-digit seed left in the bracket after knocking off Maryland and Florida State in the first two rounds, setting up their second Sweet 16 game against Arizona in three years. "Absolutely. I mean, it is".
The shortcomings in the past have been diverse but always painful. The key for the Zags was the team's three-point shooting, as they shot an unstoppable 61.5% from deep in the first half.
Gonzaga certainly had their share of issues against West Virginia in the Sweet 16.
There will be no such talk this year.
Despite being a name more commonly associated with college basketball success in recent years, the LA Times notes that, like Xavier, this will only be the third time that Gonzaga has made it to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
Gonzaga happens to be the best defensive team in the country. "Its not fair. It's not fair in December, it's not fair in January. It's not fair in January", Few said. The Zags were No. 1 in defensive efficiency during the regular season and shut down the underdog and 11th-seeded Musketeers (24-14) to become the first WCC team to reach the Final Four in 60 years. Florida pulled off a stunning last-second victory over Wisconsin in their previous matchup, while SC has won their three tournament games by an average of 15.7 points per game.
It reached its sports pinnacle with minimal incident on Saturday.
The Xavier Musketeers take the floor with the Gonzaga Bulldogs in an Elite 8 match up.
It was the kind of moment that sends "this just isn't our day" running through the minds of an entire team. He built a plucky, mid-major underdog into a program capable of accomplishing something like what it achieved Saturday. Xavier can't rely on J.P. Macura (seven rebounds) to be its leading rebounder like he was against Arizona. Officials waived it off by a fraction of a second. The guy who hit the late go-ahead shot to beat West Virginia, Jordan Mathews, is a grad transfer from Cal.
He was 9-25 through three games.
After the West Virginia game, the mood has moved to Final Four or bust.
On the cusp of history, the Zags took it head on with a superb all-around game to give coach Mark Few the one missing piece of his resume.
Not even a rogue arena mop girls could slow the Zags down.
SSF: The Zags have a multitude of guards they can throw at him, and you will probably see a bit of each on Bluiett. When he touched the ball in the post, double and triple teams flooded his direction.
The forward averaged 2.6 points and 1.4 rebounds playing 4.7 minutes per game this season. "My body was stiff and I thought I couldn't do anything", said Hachimura, who is understood to be the first player with Japanese citizenship to play in the NCAA Tournament.
Either Xavier or Gonzaga is about to earn its first Final Four berth in school history. Without a doubt, this is a milestone for the Gonzaga program.