PORTLAND, Ore. — The Gonzaga Bulldogs are back in the NCAA Tournament as the number one overall seed, for the second year in a row. The Zags face number 16 seed Georgia State Panthers in the first round from Portland.
The Gonzaga-Georgia State games tips off at 1:15 p.m. on Thursday, March 17.
KREM 2 News is live in Portland for the Zags tournament run, bringing you exclusive stories, interviews, and highlights from the big dance.
On the eve of the first round, the KREM 2 Sports team will be in Portland with a new Bulldog Madness special. Watch KREM 2 at 7 p.m. on Wednesday night. Brenna Greene and Travis Green will be live from Portland with stories about the Zags team, players, and fans.
Gonzaga ended the regular season atop the AP Poll, but fans and players are hoping this year’s team can finally get the Bulldogs the Championship they have been so close to winning over the years. Many analysts say Gonzaga may have the toughest bracket in the tournament, but head coach Mark Few isn’t looking ahead.
“It's a fool's errand to look down the road. There's so many good teams,” Few said. “We just finished a two-game tournament and that's what this is: a two-game tournament. You don't win the first one, you don't get the second one.”
Zags from Portland
When the Zags open the NCAA Tournament in Portland it will be a homecoming for two of the Bulldogs. Ben Gregg, a freshman on Gonzaga's squad, and Matt Lang, a senior, are both Portland natives and will see a dream realized on Thursday.
“It's super exciting,” Lang said. “My last year, just to be able to go home and have all my friends and family out to support, It's really fun.”
The duo says that they'll both have pretty substantial cheering sections helping support the Zags.
Gonzaga coaching tree
If Gonzaga and Boise State both win on Thursday, they will face each other in the second round. It would be the first time Mark Few has had to go up against a former assistant in the NCAA Tournament, as Leon Rice is now the head coach at Boise State.
It's really been a fantastic year for the Gonzaga coaching tree as a whole. Tommy Lloyd also made the tournament as Arizona’s head coach. Meantime, Dan Monson, the head coach of Gonzaga's 1999 team that started this whole run, was one point away from going to the tournament himself as the head coach of Long Beach State.
Tune into the Bulldog Madness special at 7 p.m. Wednesday for more on these stories, plus one-on-one interviews with Drew Timme and Melody Kempton joins to talk about the women’s team.