Gonzaga Ready to Prove Worthy of No. 1 Seed - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Gonzaga Ready to Prove Worthy of No. 1 Seed

Updated:
Gonzaga rolls into the NCAA tournament with a 31-2 record and the first No. 1 seed in program history. Gonzaga rolls into the NCAA tournament with a 31-2 record and the first No. 1 seed in program history.

It was once a Cinderella story. Now, it's more Goliath than David.

The Gonzaga basketball team embarks on its first NCAA tournament as a No. 1 seed on Thursday at 1:10 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast on TBS with postgame press conferences streamed live on SWX TV and swxrightnow.com.

The Bulldogs are the big kids on the block, now, and up first is the type of team Gonzaga used to be -- 16-seeded Southern.

With a No. 1 seed comes great expectations, though, but Gonzaga players claim to notfeel any added pressure.

"I see it as a great honor, I don't really see it as a weight on our shoulders," senior Elias Harris said. "We were lucky enough to get the 1-seed and we got to make the best out of it and play team basketball and show we're worthy of it."

There have been no reasons to not believe the Bulldogs, as they've already dealt with playing with an AP No. 1 ranking, the first in program history, and have been favored in just about every game.

Gonzaga (31-2, 16-0 WCC) hasn't lost a game since Jan. 19 at Butler, and its only other loss came in December to Illinois. Both teams were ranked at the time. If Gonzaga is able to advance, it wouldn't face a team ranked in the final AP poll until a potential Sweet 16 matchup with either Wisconsin or Kansas State.

But that's in the future, far in the future. For now, the Bulldogs are not overlooking its second-round opponent.

"We still have to go out and we still have to win," Kelly Olynyk said.

It will help that large masses of Gonzaga fans are expected to fill EnergySolutions Arena on Thursday, providing a home-court feel.

"It means a lot to us, our fan support has been great all year long," Harris said. "We've got tremendous fans that really support us at all times and I really think that's going to help us out."

"It's really nice to see that kind of following and that kind of support we saw in Vegas a couple weeks ago at the conference tournament," Olynyk added. "It's really nice to play in front of that kind of crowd and have that kind of support. It really gives you a lift as a team that you don't have to bring yourself, which is always nice."

  • College

    • Cougars drop season-finale to No. 8 Stanford on Senior Day

      by WSU Athletics PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State dropped a 15-1 decision to No. 8 Stanford in the season-finale in front of a season-high 1,776 fans at Bailey-Brayton Field Saturday afternoon. Prior to the game, WSU recognized senior lefthanded pitcher Trenton Dupre, the only senior on the roster. The Cougars finished the season 24-29 overall and 10-20 in Pac-12 play, recording more overall wins from a year ago including four Pac-12 series wins and a . WSU finished the yea...
    • WSU’s 9th inning rally held off by No. 8 Stanford

      PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State put runners on first and second in ninth inning but No. 8 Stanford turned away the rally to post a 5-3 victory at Bailey-Brayton Field Friday afternoon.   The Cougars (24-28, 10-19 Pac-12) put runners on with one out in the ninth but the Cardinal (39-14, 20-9 Pac) ended the game with a strikeout and groundout.

    • Gonzaga one win away from a NCAA Tournament berth

      STOCKTON, Calif.--A host of scouts came out to Friday's WCC Championships game between top-seeded Gonzaga and second-seed Loyola Marymount to see LMU starter Cory Abbott Friday afternoon, but it was Gonzaga starter Justin Vernia who stole the show as he powered the Zags to a 3-1 win and a berth in the tournament title game.

    • Bennie Seltzer returns to WSU as assistant basketball coach

      PULLMAN, Wash. – A former Cougar standout on the basketball court and 20-year coaching veteran, Bennie Seltzer returns to Pullman to join Ernie Kent's staff as an assistant men's basketball coach, Kent announced Friday.

    • Cougars Drop Series-Opener to No. 8 Stanford

      PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State dropped the series-opener with No. 8 Stanford 13-2 at Bailey-Brayton Field Thursday evening. The Cougars (24-27, 10-18 Pac-12) collected 10 hits led by junior Shane Matheny’s 3-for-4 performance, recording his third 3-hit game of the season. WSU also received two-hit games from sophomore shortstop Andres Alvarez, junior Cory Meyer and junior left fielder Blake Clanton. Meyer and Clanton each drove in a run in the ninth. S...

    • Offensive Surge Pushes Zags into Winner’s Bracket at WCC Tournament

      STOCKTON, Calif.—It took a few innings, but the Bulldog offense hit top gear Thursday afternoon, propelling the top-seeded Gonzaga baseball team past fourth-seed Saint Mary’s 11-3 and into the winners’ bracket of the West Coast Conference Championships at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, Calif. Saint Mary’s scored the game’s first runs, scoring twice in the top of the third off atypical wildness from GU starter Eli Morgan. Afte...

    • 7-foot graduate transfer Benas Griciunas to play for Eagles

      Seven-foot center Benas Griciunas from UNC Charlotte will spend his senior season as a graduate transfer at Eastern Washington University and play for Shantay Legans, the new EWU head men's basketball coach announced Thursday (May 25).

    • Former Gonzaga player Vivian Frieson named NAU assistant coach

      FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona women's basketball head coach Loree Payne completed her staff on Wednesday with former Gonzaga standout Vivian Frieson announced as assistant coach. "We're very excited to add Vivian to our coaching staff," Payne said. "The culture that she has been around playing at Gonzaga

    • Huskies host USC for final regular season series

      SEATTLE - Husky Ballpark will be abuzz starting Thursday as the Huskies have a big weekend in store for the final home series of the year. On the field, UW (26-25, 12-15 Pac-12) hosts USC (20-32, 7-20) in an important series, starting Thursday

    • No. 1 seeded Gonzaga begins WCC Championships against Saint Mary's

      This is the second time the Zags have been the championship’s top seed, also taking No. 1 in the very first tournament in 2013...Gonzaga has reached Banner Island Ballpark four times in the competition’s five-year history...Gonzaga and BYU are the only two schools to qualify for four WCC tournaments.

    More
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • GonzagaGonzagaMore>>

  • Gonzaga one win away from a NCAA Tournament berth

    Gonzaga one win away from a NCAA Tournament berth

    Courtesy: Gonzaga AthleticsCourtesy: Gonzaga Athletics

    STOCKTON, Calif.--A host of scouts came out to Friday's WCC Championships game between top-seeded Gonzaga and second-seed Loyola Marymount to see LMU starter Cory Abbott Friday afternoon, but it was Gonzaga starter Justin Vernia who stole the show as he powered the Zags to a 3-1 win and a berth in the tournament title game.

    More >>

    STOCKTON, Calif.--A host of scouts came out to Friday's WCC Championships game between top-seeded Gonzaga and second-seed Loyola Marymount to see LMU starter Cory Abbott Friday afternoon, but it was Gonzaga starter Justin Vernia who stole the show as he powered the Zags to a 3-1 win and a berth in the tournament title game.

    More >>
  • Offensive Surge Pushes Zags into Winner’s Bracket at WCC Tournament

    Offensive Surge Pushes Zags into Winner’s Bracket at WCC Tournament

    Photo: Gonzaga AthleticsPhoto: Gonzaga Athletics

    STOCKTON, Calif.—It took a few innings, but the Bulldog offense hit top gear Thursday afternoon, propelling the top-seeded Gonzaga baseball team past fourth-seed Saint Mary’s 11-3 and into the winners’ bracket of the West Coast Conference Championships at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, Calif. Saint Mary’s scored the game’s first runs, scoring twice in the top of the third off atypical wildness from GU starter Eli Morgan. Afte...

    More >>

    STOCKTON, Calif.—It took a few innings, but the Bulldog offense hit top gear Thursday afternoon, propelling the top-seeded Gonzaga baseball team past fourth-seed Saint Mary’s 11-3 and into the winners’ bracket of the West Coast Conference Championships at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, Calif. Saint Mary’s scored the game’s first runs, scoring twice in the top of the third off atypical wildness from GU starter Eli Morgan. Afte...

    More >>
  • Former Gonzaga player Vivian Frieson named NAU assistant coach

    Former Gonzaga player Vivian Frieson named NAU assistant coach

    Courtesy: Northern Arizona AthleticsCourtesy: Northern Arizona Athletics

    FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona women's basketball head coach Loree Payne completed her staff on Wednesday with former Gonzaga standout Vivian Frieson announced as assistant coach. "We're very excited to add Vivian to our coaching staff," Payne said. "The culture that she has been around playing at Gonzaga

    More >>

    FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona women's basketball head coach Loree Payne completed her staff on Wednesday with former Gonzaga standout Vivian Frieson announced as assistant coach. "We're very excited to add Vivian to our coaching staff," Payne said. "The culture that she has been around playing at Gonzaga

    More >>