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GONZAGA UNIVERSITY NEWS RELEASE
Dale Goodwin, Director
Peter Tormey, Associate Director
|TRACKING THE ZAGS VII: Warm-up for 'Cats vs. Dogs|
March 20, 2008
This marks the first clash of the Zags and Wildcats on the hardwood.
While the Zags traveled three time zones and more than 2,000 miles for this game, the Wildcats had a 163-mile bus ride east on Highway 85 from the town of Davidson, N.C. The Bulldogs are making their 10th consecutive (11th overall) NCAA Tournament appearance, while this is the Wildcats’ third-straight trip to the Big Dance. The Bulldogs received an at-large berth into the Tournament after losing the WCC Tournament championship to San Diego on the Toreros’ home floor while the Wildcats defeated Elon University for the Southern Conference Tournament crown and its automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. This marks Gonzaga’s second at large-berth in its decade-long run in March Madness; every other time they won the berth by capturing the WCC Tournament.
Davidson was founded in 1837 with the establishment of the Presbyterian Davidson College, named for Brigadier General William Lee Davidson, a local Revolutionary War hero in Mecklenburg County. The land for Davidson College came from Davidson's estate.
The RBC Center is one of the finest sports venues in the nation. Its 19,722 red seats make clear this is the den for North Carolina State’s Wolfpack. The $158 million sports and entertainment center, which the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League also call home, was built in 1999 and is also among the largest basketball arenas in the country. Members of the NHL since 1997, the Hurricanes lit up this part of North Carolina by capturing the Stanley Cup in 2006. Their fans are known affectionately as “the Caniacs.”
This neck of the woods is known informally in these parts as the Triangle, an abbreviated form of the Research Triangle as it is anchored by three big-time universities: North Carolina State in Raleigh, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University in nearby Durham, made famous from the baseball movie “Bull Durham,” which was filmed right here in the Triangle. Baseball fans won’t miss a chance to visit Durham Bulls Athletic Park, home of the real-life Durham Bulls, an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays Major League Baseball organization and a member of the Triple-A International League.
People are as warm and inviting here as a fresh-baked pie. While wandering around in search of coffee early this morning, I was greeted many times with big, friendly smiles and was even invited to a prayer breakfast meeting, before I found the coffee. This must be what people mean when they refer to the “down-home, Southern hospitality.” It’s real.
WCC Makes History with Three Teams in ‘Big Dance’
“We need to play better. You are going to have to play really well to play on,” Few told media in a teleconference earlier this week. “We didn't play great against San Diego or Santa Clara. It's a difficult deal when you know you are going to play in the NCAA Tournament. One thing I would like to say that I think gets lost sometimes is that ten-straight NCAA Tournaments is an amazing feat. There are only, I think, five programs that have accomplished it and some of them barely got in by the skin of their teeth this year.”
Difficult indeed. Staying in the Tournament is even harder.