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

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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."

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  • From manager to player: Gonzaga's Pete living out new kind of Cinderella story

    From manager to player: Gonzaga's Pete living out new kind of Cinderella story

    Brian Pete’s college basketball career didn’t begin with a host of recruitment letters or scholarship offers, it began with a brief conversation over postgame pizza. In just a few days, Pete went from washing jerseys to wearing one. Now, a team that became famous two decades ago for dancing in Cinderella’s slipper is now celebrating a different kind of rags to riches tale.

    More >>

    Brian Pete’s college basketball career didn’t begin with a host of recruitment letters or scholarship offers, it began with a brief conversation over postgame pizza. In just a few days, Pete went from washing jerseys to wearing one. Now, a team that became famous two decades ago for dancing in Cinderella’s slipper is now celebrating a different kind of rags to riches tale.

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  • No. 15 Gonzaga holds off San Francisco 75-65

    No. 15 Gonzaga holds off San Francisco 75-65

    Photo: Gonzaga AthleticsPhoto: Gonzaga Athletics

    Gonzaga had four players finish the game with double figures, led by Johnathan Williams with 17 points (Perkins 16 pts, Melson 14 pts, Hachimura 10 pts).

    More >>

    Gonzaga had four players finish the game with double figures, led by Johnathan Williams with 17 points (Perkins 16 pts, Melson 14 pts, Hachimura 10 pts).

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  • Gonzaga beats USF in dominant fashion 74-47

    Gonzaga beats USF in dominant fashion 74-47

    Photo: Twitter/@ZagWBBPhoto: Twitter/@ZagWBB

    Jessie Loera led the Zags with a career-high 15 points on six-of-eight shooting, and added a career-high nine assists to lead GU as well..

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    Jessie Loera led the Zags with a career-high 15 points on six-of-eight shooting, and added a career-high nine assists to lead GU as well..

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