Zags Women, Men Dancin' in NCAA Tournament

(left) Women celebrate after learning tournament seed. (right) Zags men at WCC Tournament.  (GU photos)
March 19, 2019
Gonzaga News Service
SPOKANE, Wash. — The Gonzaga men’s and women’s basketball teams are dancin’ in the NCAA Tournament, again, on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. This marks the 21st consecutive NCAA Tournament berth (22nd overall) for the men — a No. 1 seed for the third time in program history — and the 11th overall for the women who secured a No. 5 seed, the highest in program history.

The top seed in the West, the (30-3) men take on Fairleigh Dickinson (21-13) of the Northeast Conference on Thursday in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the Vivint Smart Home Arena at 4:27 p.m. PDT (truTV).

The No. 5 seed women (28-4) battle No. 12 seed University of Arkansas-Little Rock (21-10) at 12:30 p.m. (PDT) Saturday in the Albany Region at the Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Oregon (TV: ESPN2). The winner of the men’s contest will face the winner of the No. 8-seed Syracuse vs. No. 9 Baylor game on Saturday. The women's game winner plays the winner of the No. 4 Oregon State-No. 13 Boise State game on Monday, March 25.

Women

Led by fifth-year Coach Lisa Fortier, Gonzaga returns to the NCAA Tournament for its third-straight season. Before securing the No. 5 seed on Monday, the Bulldogs’ highest previous seed was a No. 6 (2014) when they faced No. 11 James Madison in the a first-round game in College Station, Texas and lost to finish the season 29-5.

In 10 previous NCAA Tournament appearances, Gonzaga has advanced to the Elite Eight once (2011) and to the Sweet 16 four times (2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015). This marks the second time in program history that the Zags have played the first and second rounds in Corvallis, Oregon. GU had previously traveled to Corvallis for the first and second rounds in 2015. That year, the Bulldogs, an 11 seed, upset No. 6 George Washington in the first round, followed by an upset win over host Oregon State to advance to the Sweet 16 in which they fell to No. 2 Tennessee in overtime.

Men

Gonzaga’s 21 consecutive NCAA Tournament berths is the nation’s fourth-longest current streak (Kansas, Duke, Michigan State). Gonzaga is 31-21 all-time in 21 previous NCAA Tournament appearances with nine trips to the Sweet 16, three to the Elite Eight, one Final Four and an appearance in the 2017 national championship game. GU is 28-19 in the NCAA Tournament under head Coach Mark Few with a berth in all 19 seasons of Few’s career as a head coach. The Bulldogs have played more NCAA Tournament games in Salt Lake City than any other site, winning six of the nine games played there. The Zags are first in the nation in field goal percentage (53.2), scoring margin (23.8), scoring offense (88.8), and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.76). Gonzaga has never played an NCAA Tournament game in Anaheim, Calif., site of the West Regional semifinals and finals. Last season, (4) GU defeated (13) UNC-Greensboro and (5) Ohio State in Boise, Idaho, advancing to the Sweet 16 before falling to (11) Florida State.

Follow the Zags

Visit Tournament Central for stories and information on NCAA events including chapter game watches.

Tickets

Gonzaga’s allotment for the men’s first two rounds in Salt Lake City is sold out. For information on tickets for the women’s game, visit www.osubeavers.com or call the Oregon State Ticket Office at (541) 737-4455.

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