Gonzaga draws West Virginia in NCAA Tournament


by KREM 2 Sports


Posted on March 11, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 12 at 11:12 AM

SPOKANE -- The Gonzaga men's basketball team will play West Virginia in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.  Tip-off is at 4:20pm.  You can watch the game on TNT.  The Bulldogs are a 7-seed in the East Region, while the Mountaineers are a 10-seed.

Gonzaga and West Virginia meet on Thursday in Pittsburgh.

Gonzaga (26-5) is playing in the NCAA Tournament for the 14th straight year, but they received an at-large bid this season after finishing second in the West Coast Conference and falling short in the conference tournament.

If Gonzaga wins, the Bulldogs will play the winner of (2) Ohio State vs. (15) Loyola, MD on Saturday.

Gonzaga has never played West Virginia in the team's basketball history.

Gonzaga might face a hostile crowd in Pittsburgh. Morgantown, the site of West Virginia's campus, is only a 2.5 hour drive from Pittsburgh.

West Virginia (19-13) lost in the second round of the Big East Conference Tournament 71-67 to Connecticut in overtime on Wednesday, but received an at-large bid.  The Mountaineers finished 9-9 in the tough Big East.  Their most impressive wins this season include Kansas State, Georgetown and Cincinnati. 

West Virginia is led by 6'8" senior forward Kevin Jones who averages 20.2 points per game.  The other big star is 6'2" senior guard Darryl "Truck" Bryant who scores 17.2 points per game and is known for being a streaky shooter.

The Mountaineers struggle shooting the long ball, hitting only 30-percent of their three-point attempts this season, but they do well on the boards with a plus-seven rebounding advantage over their opponents.

Bob Huggins is the coach of the Mountaineers.  He arrived at West Virginia in 2008 and led the Mountaineers to the Final Four in 2010 where they lost to Duke.  This is the 20th NCAA Tournament for Huggins.  He also coached Akron and Cincinnati to NCAA bids.

West Virginia is 25-24 overall in the NCAA Tournament.

KREM 2 Sports Director Tim Lewis is traveling with Gonzaga to the NCAA Tournament. He'll have in-depth features on the team and all the latest happenings from Pittsburgh.  He'll also be constantly tweeting @TLKREM2 and posting updates on his Facebook page from the road.

KREM 2 is also hosting a Bulldog Madness special on Wednesday at 9 p.m. that will include live reports from Pittsburgh and in-depth player interviews.

Don't forget to also compete in our March Mayhem contest. You can win up to $10,000 for a perfect bracket!

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For bracket tips and facts from the NCAA, click here.