SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Gonzaga coach Mark Few did not like the question but answered it anyway. His Zags had just held off West Virginia to reach the Elite Eight and he was asked if he felt like the monkey was off his back. Few gave a long answer about no one believing there was a monkey there in the first place.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- No. 11 Xavier (24-13) vs. No. 1 Gonzaga (35-1) Fourth Round, West Region; San Jose, California, 6:09 p.m. EDT. BOTTOM LINE: Two teams once considered mid-majors are on the cusp of their first Final Four. Gonzaga has made the NCAA Tournament 19 straight seasons, the fourth-longest streak in the nation. The Zags have been to the Elite Eight twice before and entes Saturday's game with 27 NCAA Tournament wins.
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Xavier didn't look like an Elite Eight team in early March, coming off six straight defeats that led coaches to try to burn the month of February from the players' memories, literally. Ranked No. 7 in the preseason, the Musketeers had dropped out of the poll and were a bubble team after losing senior guard Myles Davis, point guard Edmond Sumner and top scorer Trevon Bluiett at midseason.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- In a story March 24 about an NCAA Tournament game between Xavier and Arizona, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Xavier's record was 30-13. It should have been 24-13. A corrected version of the story is below: Xavier knocks off Arizona 73-71 in West Region Xavier, behind Trevon Bluiett's 25 points, upsets Arizona 73-71 in West to reach Elite Eight By JOHN MARSHALL AP Basketball Writer SAN JOSE, Calif.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Sean Miller had just been named Xavier's head basketball coach when he began meeting with athletic director Dawn Rogers about filling out his staff. Rogers had previously worked with Chris Mack, then on Skip Prosser's staff at Wake Forest, and suggested Miller consider him with the Musketeers. Miller knew nothing about Mack, but during the meticulous process of finding assistants, the Xavier alum's name kept coming up.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- No. 11 seed Xavier (23-13) vs. No. 2 seed Arizona (32-4) Third round, West region; San Jose, California; 10:09 p.m. EDT. BOTTOM LINE: Xavier is the lone double-digit seed left in a Sweet 16 filled with power programs. The Musketeers pulled off a pair of upsets to reach the regional semifinals, beating No. 6 seed Maryland and No. 3 Florida State the first weekend of the tournament.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin's win over defending national champion and overall No. 1 seed Villanova shook up office pools around the country, though the tested Badgers aren't a typical No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Eleventh-seeded Xavier might be a surprise team in the regional semifinals, but with their 3-point prowess, the Musketeers are capable of shooting their way past any opponent.
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Point guard Edmond Sumner eased himself down the hallway from Xavier's practice gym on Monday using a pair of crutches to protect his surgically repaired knee. Somehow, his team has figured out how to move on without him. The Musketeers (23-13) are the biggest surprise in the Sweet 16.
The Latest on the NCAA Tournament (all times EDT): 12:55 a.m. It's been 20 years since a Pac-12 team won the national championship, and Arizona is out to match what the 1997 Wildcats pulled off. They're off on the right foot, beating North Dakota 100-82 in the final game of a day that saw two teams make their NCAA Tournament debuts. Northwestern's inaugural visit ended in a stunning victory over Vanderbilt.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- No. 6 seed Maryland (24-8) vs. No.11 seed Xavier (21-13) First round, West region; Orlando, Florida; 6:50 p.m. EDT. BOTTOM LINE: The Terrapins limp into the NCAA Tournament having lost four of their last six games, including a first-round loss to Northwestern in the Big Ten Tournament. But the Terps should get past a Xavier team that has struggled much of February.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- With Florida State, Florida, Virginia and Maryland playing in the same venue, the Amway Center has the potential to become Upset Central in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday. All of those higher seeds stumbled down the stretch and have enough flaws that professional and amateur bracketologists across the country have them on upset alert.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Trevon Bluiett helped Xavier advance to the semifinals of the Big East Tournament and he may just have ensured the Musketeers will be playing in the NCAA Tournament as well. Bluiett scored 23 points, including a tough foul line jumper that broke the game's final tie with 16 seconds left, and Xavier beat No. 18 Butler 62-57 on Thursday night. "I think we have competitive guys.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Jim Boeheim usually says what's on his mind and it doesn't matter if the topic is his team's chances at making the NCAA Tournament's field of 68. Syracuse lost to Miami 62-57 on Wednesday in the second round of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. It was a win that would have improved the Orange's resume. It was a loss that may mean no NCAA Tournament. "It's up to them.
The Big East has been strong at the top, led by defending national champion Villanova. The second-ranked Wildcats (23-3, 14-3 Big East) won the regular-season conference title and will be the No. 1 seed in next week's Big East Tournament regardless of what happens Saturday against Georgetown. No.