Has Gonzaga won a national championship? Bulldogs continue title pursuit with ninth consecutive Sweet 16 run

Grass is green, water is wet, the sky is blue and Gonzaga is advancing to the Sweet 16.

Narratives might have you thinking that the Bulldogs are known for coming up short in the NCAA Tournament, but they are advancing to the second weekend of March Madness for the ninth consecutive year.

Shorthanded Kansas gave Gonzaga everything it had in the Round of 32, but the Bulldogs’ defense buckled down in the second half. The Jayhawks led by one point going into halftime and held that lead in the first three minutes of the second half. After that, it all fell apart for Kansas.

From that moment, Gonzaga ripped off a 15-0 run in the next four minutes. That expanded to a 32-4 run over the next 12 minutes, turning a one-possession game into a 27-point lead.

Jayhawks star center Hunter Dickinson missed a couple of shots around the rim and KJ Adams and Dajuan Harris Jr. went ice cold. Freshman shooter Johnny Furphy couldn’t get anything to fall. Without senior guard Kevin McCullar Jr. — the heartbeat of Kansas’ team who was ruled out for the tournament with a knee injury — the Jayhawks couldn’t settle in and get easy looks when they needed it most.

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And it felt like the Bulldogs answered on every single miss or turnover. The trio of Anton Watson (21 points), Nolan Hickman (17) and Graham Ike (15) were synergistic as Gonzaga moved the ball to create open shot after open shot. The team’s selflessness led to five different players scoring double figures while shooting a blistering 60 percent from the field and 53 percent from 3.

It turned what looked to be a hard-fought battle between two even teams into a 21-point beatdown, 89-68.

And just like that, Gonzaga is back in the Sweet 16, even in a year it wasn’t expected to be.

The Bulldogs lost both their leading scorers from last year’s team when Drew Timme, one of the best players in school history, and Julian Strawther turned pro.

For the first time in over a decade, Gonzaga didn’t take at least a share of the WCC regular season. It also lost the WCC Tournament championship for the second time in the last 12 years. Both of those honors went to St. Mary’s, who was upset in the Round of 64 by Grand Canyon.

As Gonzaga continues its pursuit for its first-ever national championship, take a look back at this reign of dominance by head coach Mark Few’s squad.

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Gonzaga reaches ninth consecutive Sweet 16

With its ninth consecutive Sweet 16 appearance, Gonzaga has tied Duke for the third-longest streak in NCAA Tournament history.

Only UCLA (14) and North Carolina (13) had longer streaks than the Bulldogs. Houston has the second-longest current streak at four, and the Cougars can make it five with a win over Texas A&M on Sunday.

Rank School Sweet 16 streak Years
1. UCLA 14 1967-80
2. UNC 13 1981-93
T-3. Duke 9 1998-2006
  Gonzaga 9 2014-present

Has Gonzaga ever won a national championship?

Gonzaga has never won a national championship.

Despite the Bulldogs’ sustained run of dominance with 24 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances — the second-longest streak in the NCAA to Michigan State’s 25 — they have not been able to get over the hump.

Timme, Jalen Suggs, Corey Kispert and Gonzaga lost in the 2021 national championship to Baylor.

The Nigel Williams-Goss and Zach Collins-led Bulldogs lost in the 2017 national championship to North Carolina.

Those are the only two national championship appearances in school history.

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