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Five Memorable BYU Moments Against Gonzaga

PROVO, Utah – Since BYU joined the West Coast Conference in 2011, the matchups between the Cougars and the Gonzaga Bulldogs have been some of the best games in the past decade. Wins have been tough to come by for BYU against the powerhouse Zags, but they’ve found ways to pull off some big victories.

As we count down to tip-off, let’s take a look back at some of the top moments for BYU in their series against the Zags.

2011: BYU advances to Sweet 16 with a blowout win over the Zags

With Jimmer Fredette, BYU had its best team in 30 years in 2011. Yet despite the success of Jimmer and NCAA steals leader Jackson Emery, BYU was a trendy upset pick against No. 11 seed Gonzaga in the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament. College basketball talking heads such as Dick Vitale picked Gonzaga to take down BYU, but Jimmer and company wouldn’t let that happen.

Behind 34 points from Player of the Year Fredette, BYU rolled through the Zags by a score of 89-67 and sent the Cougars to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1981. It would be the beginning of a new era as Gonzaga and BYU would now meet every year after that meeting as league rivals.

2017: BYU earns first win in program history against a No. 1 team

The finale of BYU and Gonzaga’s 2016-17 regular-season was supposed to be a coronation for the undefeated Zags. Gonzaga fans had newspapers printed up that read, “30-0!” and were ready to hold up after what many believed would be an easy win over an average BYU team.

Early on it appeared that would be the case as Gonzaga jumped out to an 18-2 lead. But BYU fought back led by Eric Mika who had 29 points and 11 rebounds to give the Cougars a shocking upset over the No. 1 ranked Zags. The first time in BYU’s history that the program defeated a No. 1 ranked team.

2016: Back-to-Back in The Kennel

In only 29 minutes of action, Kyle Collinsworth scored 20 points, pulled down five rebounds, and dished out three assists in BYU’s 69-68 victory over Gonzaga in The Kennel.

BYU shot 17 percent from three-point range and still found a way to get their second consecutive win in Spokane. The victory gave BYU a tie with the Zags for first-place in the West Coast Conference standings at the time.

2015: Wire-to-Wire win for the first taste of victory in Spokane

BYU had only an 11 percent chance of defeating the 29-1 and No. 3 ranked Zags in The Kennel. But BYU shocked the country with the win in a game they never trailed. Kyle Collinsworth had 20 points and Cobrin Kaufusi had three critical blocks to hold off the Zags with a 73-70 win. The win was BYU’s first victory in The Kennel.

2014: Matty Basketball delivers off the bench

The last time BYU defeated Gonzaga in Provo was six years ago and it came courtesy of a special performance from “Matty Basketball” a.k.a. Matt Carlino off the bench. Carlino scored 15 points in 31 minutes of play in front of a sold out Marriott Center crowd against yet another ranked Gonzaga team.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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