MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Gonzaga is now a full-fledged supermodel.
Casey Calvary and Dan Dickau took control of the game in the second half, combining for 33 points, as the Bulldogs posted an 85-68 victory over Indiana State and reached the "Sweet 16" of the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year.
Only Duke and Michigan State can stake that claim, having both advanced to at least the regional semifinals in their last three tournament appearances. Ironically, Gonzaga (26-6) will play the Spartans in the South Region semifinals Friday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
"We've got some great players who could play for anybody in the country," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "What you see is what you get. That's a group that gets along very well and because of that we've got a great team. There's not a whole lot of egos there, but there are obviously very competitive, very high-character kids on this team that are winners." After making it to the "Elite Eight" two years ago and the "Sweet 16" last season as a 10th seed in the West, the Bulldogs entered this tournament as a 12th seed. But the inside-outside combination of Calvary and Dickau carried Gonzaga to an 86-85 win over fifth-seeded Virginia on Friday and Sunday's victory over 13th-seeded Indiana State (22-12), which had upset Oklahoma in the first round at The Pyramid.
"I was very disappointed in the seed they gave us," Few said. "I think it's a lack of knowing how good this team is, how good our conference (West Coast) is. It's silly to think that if we go 13-1 that we're not better than a fourth, fifth, or sixth or seventh place team out of one of the football school's leagues." A 3-pointer by Michael Menser pulled Indiana State within 66-65 with 6:06 left, but it had just one more field goal the rest of way as Gonzaga closed the game with a 19-3 run.
Calvary hit a jumper and three free throws and Dickau added a layup and a pair of free throws in the final four minutes.
"The AP (Associated Press) and other people think we are an underdog but we go into every game thinking we have a chance to win," said Calvary, a member of all three "Sweet 16" teams. "We have played in a lot of tough places and we have gotten experience over the years." Freshman Marcus Howard scored 11 points and the Sycamores connected on six 3-pointers in the first half when they built a 37-32 lead.
Dickau, who had 29 points in the win over Virginia, was frustrated by defenders Howard and Kelyn Block in the first half and attempted just three field goals, missing all of them.
"I played a horrible first half. I didn't control the tempo like I should have," Dickau said. "The guys said not to worry about it and just go out and control the tempo in the second half. I tried to take advantages of some opportunities in the second half and they worked out." But the second half was a far different story. Dickau drove to the basket more aggressively, drew fouls and scored 17 of his 20 points, including a perfect 12-of-12 from the free-throw line.
Calvary, the West Coast Conference player of the year, established his dominance inside in the second half as well, scoring 16 of his 24 points. He was 9-of-13 from the field and had seven assists.
Matt Renn and Howard led the Sycamores with 16 points apiece and Menser added 15, all on 3-pointers.
"We knew the 3-pointers would keep us in the game," said Indiana State coach Royce Waltman. "But their experience showed today. I'm extremely pleased with what we've done this season." Gonzaga, which was 9-of-16 from 3-point range in the win over Virginia, missed seven of its first eight attempts from behind the arc before Calvary connected from the top of the key, tying the game at 51-51 with 11:24 left.
Freshman Kyle Bankhead followed with another 3-pointer and Dickau converted a layup, giving the Bulldogs a 56-51 advantage with 9:16 remaining.
After Menser connected on a 3-pointer, Calvary answered with another 3-pointer. Menser hit again from the behind the arc and Calvary hit 1-of-2 3-pointers before Renn drilled a 3-pointer to tie the game at 60-60 with 7:47 left.
Dickau hit a jumper and a pair of free throws to give Gonzaga a four-point lead before Djibril Kante converted two free throws for Indiana State. After Calvary scored on a layup, Menser fired in another 3-pointer to pull Indiana State within 66-65 with 6:06 left.
But the only points for the Sycamores the rest of the way were a jumper by Block with 2:21 remaining and a free throw by Renn with 42 seconds left.
Center Zach Gourde finished with 15 points and eight rebounds and Alex Hernandez made a valuable contribution off the bench with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
Gourde took a pass from Calvary inside and hit a short jumper with 5:42 left to start an 11-0 run. Hernandez scored on a layup, Calvary converted three free throws and a jumper and Dickau hit a pair of free throws to open a 77-65 lead before Block scored Indiana State's last field goal.