The Gonzaga Bulldogs (32-1) are the No. 1 seed in the West Region, and will take on the No. 16 seed South Dakota State (18-16). The game will be played at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Thursday, March 16.
Preview: Gonzaga clinched the No. 1 seed with big wins over Florida, Iowa State, Arizona, and three wins over St. Mary's. The Bulldogs' only loss on the season came to BYU. They are led by junior guard Nigel Williams-Goss, who averages 16.9 points per game.
South Dakota State reached the tournament by defeating Nebraska-Omaha in the Summit League Tournament. The Jackrabbits are led by Mike Daum, who averages 25.3 points per game.
Date: Thursday, March 16
Time: 2:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: TBS
Location: Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, UT
Announcers: Andrew Cataon, Steve Lappas, Jamie Erdahl
Opening Betting Line: Gonzaga -23, via OddsShark
This will be the first match-up between Gonzaga and South Dakota State.
Gonzaga's last NCAA Tournament appearance was last season. As a No. 11 seed, the Bulldogs made it to the Sweet 16, where they lost to No. 10 seed Syracuse 63-60. This is Gonzaga's 20th NCAA Tournament appearance. The program has advanced to seven Sweet 16s and two Elite Eights.
South Dakota State's last NCAA Tournament appearance was also last season. As a No. 12 seed, the Jackrabbits lost to No. 5 seed Maryland 79-74 in the first round. The Jackrabbits have never won an NCAA Tournament game.
Prediction: This is one of Mark Few's most talented groups at Gonzaga. Williams-Goss and center Przemek Karnowski are as good a combination as any team has in the country. While the WCC doesn't offer a great slate of games, the Bulldogs handled St. Mary's three times, and ran through an impressive non-conference slate, beating a number of eventual NCAA Tournament teams.
Gonzaga will handle South Dakota State without much of an issue.