It's almost game time here in Portland. The Washington/Mississippi State game just wrapped up. It was pretty much a home game for the Huskies (who coasted to victory)...there was purple everywhere. I'm guessing it will be a similar setup for Gonzaga. I've already seen a ton of GU fans filing into the Rose Garden.
Tip-off was originally scheduled for 4:25, but I think that might be pushed back a little bit. Today's games are split into two sessions. The first two games are the first session. The second two games are the second session. That means all of the fans with first session tickets have to leave the Rose Garden, then all of the people with second session tickets can come in.
The Bulldogs are now a 14 point favorite against Akron. They opened as a 12-and-a-half point favorite, so that means people have confidence in GU. The Zags also have plenty of confidence in themselves. We'll see how well they play. If it's anything like the WCC Tournament...this is going to turn into a blowout in a hurry.
I want to talk a little bit about the locker room yesterday...I didn't have a chance to talk about this yesterday. There wasn't a tense person in the room. If anything, it seemed like the players were having a tough time staying serious. I don't know if you saw my interview with Austin Daye last night, but it was hard to hear him at times because Robert Sacre was singing behind him. Andrew Sorenson even became my key grip (aka assistant) at one point. I was shooting interviews by myself and was getting all sorts of cords tangled (poor Micah Downs was looking at me like, "What is this guy doing?"), then Andrew reached over and got me untangled. It was pretty strange...the light on my camera wasn't working, but as soon as he touched the camera the light snapped on. I should have warned Mark Few...maybe Andrew has the magic touch!
I was looking through Akron's roster earlier today and started to realize how young these guys are. There are nine freshmen on the Zips roster. Six of them have played this season. My favorite (and the best of the bunch) is Anthony "Humpty" Hitchens (it's a nickname he's gone by since he was a kid...he didn't explain why). He averages 8.9 points per game.
Obviously, the game is going to start later than expected, but it will eventually get going. We'll have live reports from Portland at 10 and 11. We'll also have blowout coverage on KREM.com.
I'll be blogging after the game with the sights and sounds from the game and the post game locker room, so stay tuned.