Gonzaga is back, looking to take the final step to a title

Gonzaga is back, looking to take the final step to a title

No. 4 seed Gonzaga (30-4) vs. No. 13 seed UNC-Greensboro (27-7)

First round, South Region; Boise, Idaho, 1:30 p.m. EDT on Thursday

BOTTOM LINE: Last year’s national runner-up, Gonzaga, is in the tournament for the 20th straight season, making it only the sixth program to reach that milestone. UNC-Greensboro is back for the first time since 2001.

LITTLE THINGS MATTER: The Zags learned a lot from their first trip to the Final Four last year. Namely, as Josh Perkins says, “Little things matter in March.” It’s a mantra of the team as it heads into the postseason, knowing that every rebound, every loose ball and every charge they take could make the difference between advancing and heading home.

SLOW-DOWN D: Ken Pomeroy ranks the Greensboro defense 30th in the country. The Spartans run a harassing three-quarter-court press to try to slow teams down. Led by Southern Conference defensive player of the year James Dickey, the Spartans gave up only 160 points in their three victories in the conference tournament.

RUST: Much has been made of the Big Ten’s two-week layoff coming into the NCAAs. It’s nothing new for Gonzaga. The Bulldogs haven’t played since March 6, after wrapping up the West Coast Conference tournament; UNCG hasn’t played since March 5.


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