INDIANAPOLIS – Mark Few sat down at the microphone, the Gonzaga coach's hair disheveled after he was doused with water and threw down a celebratory handstand in the locker room.
Even after 32 straight wins dating to last season, the Bulldogs are relishing their triumphs during an NCAA Tournament run that can only conclude in two ways: perfection or disappointment.
“We've been celebrating every one of these wins. We celebrated the other night. We celebrated this one. If we’re lucky enough to get another one, we’re going to celebrate like crazy for that one,” Few said. “This tournament needs to be celebrated, man.”
The way Gonzaga is playing, it wouldn't be surprising if there were more celebrations to come — four of them, to be exact. Drew Timme scored a career-high 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, and the top-seeded Bulldogs beat No. 8 seed Oklahoma 87-71 on Monday in the second round.
A No. 1 seed, two No. 2s and two No. 3s have already been eliminated from this tournament. But Gonzaga (28-0) faces higher expectations as it tries to become the first undefeated champion since Indiana 45 years ago. In the 22nd season of his remarkably consistent career, Few is four wins away from his first national title.
“You gotta bring that fire because all it takes is one good game and you can be out,” Timme said.
The Bulldogs easily dispatched Norfolk State in the first round, but the Sooners were the first power conference opponent for Gonzaga since it embarrassed Virginia in late December.
It didn't matter all that much. Oklahoma became the 25th straight team the Bulldogs beat by double digits — although the Sooners fought valiantly to keep it from becoming a blowout. Few still had his starters on the floor at the buzzer and screamed at star Jalen Suggs for committing an unnecessary foul with 1:05 left.