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Zags stay close to home

Fourth-seeded Gonzaga packs for Portland

Gonzaga University’s 11th consecutive appearance in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament will require a short road trip.

The Bulldogs, champions of the West Coast Conference, received a No. 4 seed in the South Region when the tournament field was announced Sunday. Gonzaga will open the 65-team event Thursday in Portland against 13th-seeded Akron of the Mid-American Conference.

The University of Washington, the Pac-10 Conference’s regular-season champion, earned its first tourney berth in three years. As the No. 4 seed in the West Region, UW plays Mississippi State on Thursday in Portland.