Gonzaga needs Drew Timme to be the difference in Sweet 16 vs UCLA

Drew Timme is the most recognizable face in college basketball, the unquestioned leader of Gonzaga, and wants a national championship more than anything.

UCLA stands in his way. The Bruins and Bulldogs face off Thursday night in Las Vegas in the Sweet 16.

“There are fifteen other teams in the Sweet Sixteen right now,” said Julian Mininsohn, sports director of KXLY News in Spokane, on 750 The Game. “Fifteen of them don’t have Drew Timme on their side.”

This will be the third time Timme has played against UCLA, the first being the iconic 2021 national semifinal in Indianapolis that saw Jalen Suggs hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that sent the Zags to the national title game. The second came in November 2021 when Timme had 18 points in a blowout Gonzaga win at T-Mobile Arena, the same venue as Thursday’s regional semifinal.

Despite Timme’s stardom, the Bulldogs will need contributions from other players in order to beat UCLA.

“If you’re Gonzaga, who is going to show up after Drew Timme?,” Mininsohn said. “That has been the struggle for the Bulldogs this year, is they have had to do it by committee and haven’t had a true number-two option behind him.”

Thursday will be seventeen years to the day of the unforgettable Sweet Sixteen battle between these same programs in Oakland, where Adam Morrison fell to the court in tears after the Zags blew a 17-point lead in a 73-71 UCLA win.

Listen to the full interview below. You can hear play-by-play coverage of UCLA-Gonzaga on Thursday via Westwood One right here on 750 The Game and streaming for free at 750TheGame.com.

John Canzano delivers the Bald Faced Truth weekdays 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.