Just a few weeks ago, Gonzaga was in unfamiliar territory: on the bubble.

Now, the Zags are headed back to yet another Sweet 16 — their ninth in a row — after a strong showing in the first two rounds of this year’s NCAA Tournament at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City.

“I couldn’t be more proud,” head coach Mark Few said after his squad pummeled Kansas 89-68 Saturday afternoon. “As I told them in the locker room, it’s incredible. Nine straight Sweet 16s. What these guys have been able to do, especially in lieu of where we were earlier in the year, but all the ones that came before them that set this thing up, it’s a testament to all the great players that came through this program.”

Few acknowledged that while the Bulldogs did dig themselves into an unfavorable hole at one point in the season, they didn’t lose faith in their vision and banded together to catch fire and earn an at-large bid into the Big Dance — the program’s 26th consecutive appearance.

“We knew we had to finish strong. We did that,” Few said. “We’ve just always impressed upon them, you know, we get in (the tournament), we know how to win in this thing. This is not a new thing for our program, for the staff and for the players that are in here. I think they really bought into that and believed that.”

He continued, “But, yeah, the Sweet 16 thing, we don’t take it for granted at all. I’ll say it again. I think it’s the greatest sporting event in the entire world. It’s so exciting and so, just, awesome to be a part of it. ... These guys, I give them credit. They remained coachable the entire year. They stuck with it, stuck with it. They believed in the program and the staff and what we’re trying to do. Lo and behold, we finally figured it out.”

Gonzaga will face No. 2-seeded Arizona next weekend in the Sweet 16 for a chance at an Elite Eight berth.