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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


Nevada has a big man; Gonzaga has a big game


As Steve Bergum noted in last night's blog post and today's story, when GU scheduled the Battle in Seattle with Nevada (3 p.m.; ESPN2; 1510-AM), it looked like Wolf Pack (11-1) big man Nick Fazekas would be going to the NBA.

That didn't happen, so another scenario popped up: Two ranked teams meeting (Nevada is 24th in the AP poll, 18 in the coaches') in KeyArena to close out 2006. Back-to-back losses last week by GU to Georgia and Duke blew that apart as well.

The unranked Zags (9-4) have lost three of their last four games, and are trying to avoid three consecutive losses, something that hasn't happened since 2000.

With the game in Seattle, and Nevada featuring three local prep standouts (Franklin's Lyndale Burleson and Richie Phillips along with Garfield's Marcelus Kemp) there are plenty of stories in the Puget Sound papers.

We'll start with the News Tribune piece on Josh Heytvelt being prepared to play against Fazekas (though my guess is, defensively, Sean Mallon will start on Nevada's 6-foot-11 center) and this one on their schedule, then move to the Times' story on the local Nevada players (and this capsule preview) and finish with the P-I's stories, one on Gonzaga's tough December and the other on Kemp, Nevada's second-leading scorer.

We'll be back before game time to give a rundown of what to expect, then we'll be posting throughout the game. After it's over, we'll link you to the game story and follow with a final note or two. If you have any questions or comments, post them and we'll see if we can get them answered. See you then.

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