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Down the stretch, Gonzaga coach Mark Few began treating it just like a road game. The majority of the 14,176 inside EnergySolutions Arena had gravitated to underdog Southern University, sensing the possibility of a 16-seed knocking off a No. 1 for the first time in NCAA tournament history. They roared with every clutch Jaguars’ play – a ridiculous fadeaway 3-pointer by Derick Beltran, a pair of game-tying free throws by Brandon Moore, another score-knotting jumper by Beltran. Few hunkered down with his players during the last three timeouts. “Hey, it’s fine,” he told them. “We’ve been in this (situation), where the whole place has kind of turned. I kept telling them, ‘It doesn’t matter. The crowd doesn’t get a say in this, the officials don’t get a say in this. Nobody gets a say in what happens next except us’”/Jim Meehan, SR. More here. (Colin Mulvany SR photo: Kelly Olynyk elevates to shoot)
Question: I'm of the opinion that the tight game with No. 16 meant as little as a blow-up would have. The won. On to the next game. They'll do better. What do you think?
Not sure how it came across on television, but Gonzaga-Southern was interesting from the start and turned into a thriller when the gutsy Jaguars mounted their umpteenth comeback late in the second half.
Gonzaga hung on, riding key baskets by Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr., for a 64-58 win over the Jaguars.
Good evening from Salt Lake City.
We have a variety of stories to post as the Zags await their matchup with Southern at EnergySolutions Arena on Thursday afternoon.
We'll link to the available links and cut-and-paste more below.
Here's my GU-Southern game preview, my notebook with the first item on Przemek Karnowski's progress as a freshman, John Blanchette's column on David Stockton's Salt Lake City homecoming and here's Christian Caple's notebook on the Jaguars and talented sixth man Malcolm Miller.
One little click in the URL line and I'm back in the blogging world after 2-3 days on the sidelines. Onward.
Hmm, could have sworn I saw Gonzaga seeded No. 1 when the brackets came out, despite all the pro-con sparring of Jay Bilas and Jay Williams, and Doug Gottlieb and Seth Davis. Later, I looked at some of the predictions of the "experts" and GU might as well be a six seed. Seth Greenberg still has the Zags going to the Final Four, but he backtracked a bit by saying they're the most susceptible of the No. 1s. Several have GU falling to No. 5 Wisconsin, nearly everyone has No. 2 Ohio State making the Final Four out of the West Region. My non-expert opinion is that the West bracket looks pretty favorable to the Zags, so we'll see.
Here's a look back at Selection Sunday with my article, John Blanchette's column and the reaction of GU students. And here is the A-1 cover today (tip of the hat to Ralph Walter). More on next season's GU-Kansas State game in Wichita here.
Ex-Zag Dan Dickau will take part in a live chat at 11:30 on the S-R website. Go to spokesman.com for more details.
Back with my game story from Gonzaga’s 117-72 rout over Southern tonight.
Check back tomorrow morning for a day-after post.
(FYI: Gonzaga doesn’t allow in-game blogging during home games, so go to my twitter account — twitter.com/SRjimm — for in-game updates).
Check back for game story in about 90 minutes.
Gonzaga’s Robert Sacre, top center, puts up a shot over Southern’s defense as teammates Mangisto Arop (10) and 41 Steven Gray, second from left, watch in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game tonight in Spokane. Sacre’s father is the athletic director for Southern. ESPN boxscore here (AP Photo/Jed Conklin)
Steven Gray made five 3-pointers, handed out nine assists and scored 25 points to lead No. 12 Gonzaga to a 117-72 season-opening win over Southern University on Friday night. Gonzaga had six players score in double figures. Sam Dower scored 15 points, Elias Harris and Mathis Monninghoff added 12 each, Robert Sacre contributed 11 and Kelly Olynyk finished with 10. Story here.
Elias Harris (shoulder) will play tonight and, according to a GU release, the starters are expected to be Goodson, Gray, Harris, Olynyk and Sacre.
Gonzaga opens the men’s basketball regular season against Southern on Friday night at the
Sacre is quite familiar with the Southern Jaguars. His father, Greg LaFleur, has been Southern’s athletic director since 2005. LaFleur played tight end in the NFL from 1981-86.
“My dad and my mom will be attending the game,” Sacre said. “It’ll be fun. I’m just happy to be playing our first game more than it being Southern.”
Southern (5-25 overall) placed ninth in the 10-team Southwestern Athletic Conference with a 3-15 record last season. The Jaguars, who visit