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Posts tagged: NCAA Tournament

Zags Rough Road As A No. 1 Seed

Thinking back, it was maybe 10 minutes into the impossibly fun tale of Gonzaga basketball that the Zags evolved from humble, lovable underdogs into something less appealing in the eyes of a not insignificant segment of the studio audience. Underachievers. There. We said it. Underachievers. Is it true? Oh, hell no. But if AM radio has taught us anything, it’s that everybody has to believe something – and once they do, they won’t let go. And with the 75th NCAA basketball tournament under way, it’s more of a talking point than ever what with the Bulldogs seeded No. 1 and in a perfect position to live up to this trumped-up expectation that they won’t live up to expectations. It’s a virtual mathematical inevitability/John Blanchette, SR. More here.

Question: Will you be embarrassed if Gonzaga stumbles anywhere short of the Elite Eight?

Kentucky Vs. Kansas For Title

Kentucky Anthony Davis walks off the court after an NCAA Final Four semifinal college basketball tournament game against Louisville Saturday in New Orleans. Davis scored 18 points as Kentucky won 69-61 and now will face Kansas tonight for the national title. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Question: Why are/aren't you interested in tonight's game?

AM: Lady Zags Are Still Dancing

Gonzaga's Shannon Reader (31) celebrates a teammate's score against Miami in the second half of an NCAA tournament second-round women's college basketball game in Spokane Monday. Gonzaga defeated Miami 65-54. See Jess Brown's story below. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Gonzaga 77, W. Va. 54

Gonzaga's Guy Landry Edi (10) dunks the ball in front of West Virginia's Jabarie Hinds (4) in the first half of an NCAA tournament second-round college basketball game tonight in Pittsburgh. Story here. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic) 

DFO: I'll be following the game via linescore, AP photos, and updated headlines during the afternoon. Feel free to use this thread for you comments.

Gonzaga Vs West Virginia At 4:20 PM

Gonzaga University center Rob Sacre appears on a closed circuit monitor as he listens to a quetion from the media Wednesday in Pittsburgh as the Zags await their opening round game against West Virginia. The two teams tipoff at 4:20 p.m. today on Channel TNT (Channel 31 on Time-Warner). (SR photo: Christopher Anderson)

Question (for bracketologists): Who did you pick for your Final Four?

Gonzaga To Face West Virginia

Gonzaga drew a seventh seed in the NCAA tournament and will face 10th-seeded West Virginia on Thursday in Morganto…, err, Pittsburgh. “We’re wearing white jerseys but the home-court advantage will be with them,” junior forward Elias Harris said. “It’ll be like a road game, but the fans aren’t on the court. It’s us against them and it really shouldn’t bother us.” The Bulldogs (25-6) and Mountaineers (19-13) square off at 4:20 PDT at CONSOL Energy Center, roughly 2,250 miles from GU’s campus and 75 miles from West Virginia’s campus. The winner will meet the winner of No. 2-seeded Ohio State (185 miles from Pittsburgh) and No. 15 Loyola-Maryland (245 miles) on Saturday. Syracuse is the top seed in the East Region/Jim Meehan, SR. More here. (Kathy Plonka's SR photo of Gonzaga coach Mark Few)

Question: Do you think the Bulldogs were properly seeded at No. 7?

CDAJim: And A 10YO Will Lead Us

CDAJim: Over the weekend we got the final report on the March Madness bracket contest that we competed in. There were 133 of us in the competition with me, my wife and son nowhere close to getting in on the winnings. However, the winner, who had picked UConn and beat out everyone in total points and won over $460…. WAS 10 YEARS OLD !!!

Question: How did you do with your NCAA tournament brackets?

Gonzaga 86, St. John’s 71

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No. 11-seeded Gonzaga took command early with a 12-0 run, built an 11-point halftime lead and cruised to an 86-71 victory over No. 6 St. John’s on Thursday in the second round of the NCAA tournament in Denver. Gonzaga (25-9) will face No. 3 BYU (31-4), which will join the WCC next season, on Saturday. The winner advances to the Sweet 16. BYU eliminated Wofford 74-66. Marquise Carter scored 24 points, Steven Gray hit four 3-pointers and added 16 points, and Elias Harris had 15 for the Bulldogs, who shot over 60 percent from the field for most of the game before dropping into the 50s late. Dwight Hardy led SJU (21-12) with 24 points/Jim Meehan, SR. Gonzaga-St. John's ESPN boxscore here  (SR photos: Dan Pelle)

Blanchette: Zags Glad To Be Dancin’

Greg Gumbel, the Bert Parks of Selection Sunday, hadn’t even taken his first breath when the yowling began drifting in from Bracket Nation. UAB? Clemson? If the NCAA committee was going to put anyone in, why not Northwestern, which has had its nose against the glass for 73 years? The overall No. 1 seed, Ohio State, in a region with North Carolina, Syracuse and Kentucky – while Pitt gets valet parking to the Final Four? More teams – 68 – are in the NCAA basketball tournament than ever before and still the complaints and conspiracy theories topped all previous records, except at Gonzaga University, where both opportunity and perspective have been hard-won. “This is one year,” coach Mark Few said, “I would have crawled on broken glass to Cleveland to play”/John Blanchette, SR. More here.

Question: Who will win opening round game between Gonzaga & Saint John's?

Blanchette: Zags’ Run Continues

In the garden of Gonzaga basketball have grown any number of dubious truths. The Bulldogs are dragged down by a weak league, say. Their thoroughly spoiled devotees take the program’s prolonged dominance for granted. And the players – each recruiting class more highly regarded than the last – are increasingly nonchalant about the whole Zag thing. It doesn’t mean as much to them. Some of these can be weeds, mistaken for flowers. One undeniable truth: The Zags’ run of NCAA tournament appearances will end sometime. Maybe next year’s addition of Brigham Young to the West Coast Conference and another round of young recruits will be the tipping point. But whatever the fears of the fan base were in January, this is not that year/John Blanchette, SR. More here. (SR file photo: Christopher Anderson)

Question: What seed does Gonzaga deserve in NCAA Tournament?

Blanchette: Zags’ Climb Finally Over

The Gonzaga Bulldogs celebrated Monday night in a way they haven’t in at least a decade. They celebrated like it mattered, because it did. One more time, they turned back the challenge of Saint Mary’s, the Frazier to Gonzaga’s Ali here in the West Coast Conference, 75-63 in the championship game of the league tournament – and the NCAA Tournament pass that came with it, extending that residency to 13 consecutive years, was by no means incidental. But, really, this was about something else. “It was real,” Gray said. “It was … over.” Not the season, not by any means. But the climb/John Blanchette, SR. More here. (SR photo/Christopher Anderson: Marquise Carter of Gonzaga drives hard to the basket against the defense of Matthew Dellavedova of Saint Marys during their WCC Championship game on Monday. Carter was named the tournament’s MVP.)

Question: What do you think of this year's Gonzaga Bulldogs team now?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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