CBS was starting to reveal the brackets during Sunday’s selection show and the Zags knew they were in the running for a No. 1 seed, likely in the West Region.
But many of the players were also hungry.
So they loaded up plates with chicken, potatoes and green beans before taking seats inside the Herak Room, located about a 3-pointer away from the court inside the McCarthey Athletic Center. As top seeds were announced in the East, Midwest and South, players dutifully set their plates down just in case Gonzaga’s name popped up on the TV screen.
Veteran move, knowing where the TV cameras are and when they might start rolling.
“You know, you have to make sure the food isn’t flying everywhere,” cracked senior center Przemek Karnowski.
Other sights and sounds from GU’s watch party:
2:33 (3 minutes after show starts): Coach Mark Few enters room and high-fives son Colt.
2:34: Colt takes a seat next to Rem Bakamus, gets up in pursuit of food, gives up and sits back down by Bakamus.
2:38: Przemek Karnowski forgets silverware at the end of the buffet table. “Forks are at the other end,” athletic director Mike Roth informs the big man. “Just trying to help buddy.”
2:46: Still waiting to hear Gonzaga’s name called, seven players dig into the grub. Five players plunk away on their phones.
2:49: Assistant coach Brian Michaelson’s son Cole, not quite 2 years old, dribbles through spectators and portable tables. Dribbles without looking at the ball. Kid has handles.
2:53: Nigel Williams-Goss points camera phone backward to take video of crowd of supporters in the back of the room.
The No. 4 Gonzaga Bulldogs react to being named the No. 1 seed in the West Region for the 2017 NCAA men’s basketball tournament Sunday at Gonzaga University. The selection committee announced Sunday that the Zags will play on Thursday against sixteenth-seeded South Dakota State at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
3:00: At least nine players gaze at their phones during a commercial break.
3:01: Cole Michaelson tries dribbling two balls at a time, with some success.
3:02: West Region pairings are about to be announced. Voices grow softer to hear Greg Gumbel and crew. Gonzaga’s name appears as the No. 1 seed and players applaud, rise to their feet and take videos of the TV screen.
3:03: South Dakota State comes up on the bracket as GU’s first-round opponent. Mild applause.
3:08: Seth Davis predicts Florida Golf Coast will win its first two games. Karnowski bites his fingernails and doesn’t hear a word.
3:11: Five players exit the room.
3:12: Zach Collins and assistant coach Tommy Lloyd’s daughter Sophia exchange a special handshake and bump knuckles.
3:13: Collins dribbles a ball, playfully shielding off Colt Few’s steal attempts.
3:14: Crowd dwindles and players are long gone except Killian Tillie and redshirt Jacob Larsen, both stay behind to devour a plate of food.
3:16: Coach Few chats with Gonzaga president Thayne McCulloh.
3:18: Few grabs a quick bite to eat, then exits the room to begin preparations for South Dakota State and meet with the media.
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