College Basketball Championships
9:12 am
Fri March 18, 2011

Gonzaga aces first NCAA test; Huskies play tonight

Gonzaga continued its late season win streak, roaring through its first game in the NCAA men's basketball tournament with a solid win over St. John's last night, 86-71. The Zags dominated in rebounding, and just about every other category, against their favored Big East conference opponent, writes The Seattle Times' Bud Withers:

"We played great," said Gonzaga coach Mark Few, who was clearly overwhelmed by the quality of the performance. As Robert Sacre, Steven Gray and Marquise Carter snickered on an interview podium, Few added, "I'm just tickled pink, I guess — whatever that saying is."

The Bulldogs will face powerful Brigham Young University and their star, Jimmer Fredette, on Saturday in Denver. BYU is seeded 3rd in the Southeast bracket. 

Washington - Georgia Tip Off at 6:45 p.m.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, Washington's Huskies play Georgia in a game beginning at 6:45 PDT, one of the tournament's late games.  UW is a 7th seed, Georgia a 10th seed in the East regional, where overall #1 seed Ohio State was placed.

Sportspress Northwest's Todd Dybas offers a thorough breakdown of how the two teams match up:

(The Bulldogs) want to deliver the ball inside whenever possible on offense. They have two mainstays, Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie, to do it through. In addition, Georgia plays changing and skillful defense.

The Huskies bring some tournament experience, and appear to be relaxed and confident as game time nears, according to The Times' Percy Allen:

Washington thrilled the smattering of fans inside Time Warner Cable Arena with a half-court, buzzer-beating drill and an impromptu dunk contest..."It feels familiar," coach Lorenzo Romar said. "Hopefully that translates into something good."

Oddsmakers favor the UW by 5 points. The winner is likely to meet home-favorite North Carolina on Sunday, unless the Tar Heels are upset by Long Island University this evening.