Friday, January 11, 2013

Our Pacific Northwest

Our Pacific Northwest

‘Zags Continue Their March Toward Madness

There are plenty of reasons for sports fans in the Pacific Northwest to be abuzz. The upset-minded Seahawks head to Atlanta, looking to gut out a win to advance to the NFC Championship, the 49ers invite Aaron Rodgers and the Pack for a battle in the Bay, and the possibility of the NBA returning to Seattle has rejuvenated basketball fans - dormant since their team’s four-year diaspora. But the 16-1 Gonzaga Bulldogs have quietly been winning games, seven in a row since losing to Illinois, ranked thirteenth at the time, and slowly rising up the national ranks. The ‘Zags faced off against their arch-rivals Saint Mary’s last night, who proved awfully pesky, surging back from a 20-point deficit in the second half to bring it within one point. But the Bulldogs leaned on Junior Kelly Olynyk, who finished the night with another 30-point performance; Sophomore Kevin Pangos chipped in with a big three late, and Senior Elias Harris grabbed a crucial rebound in the waning seconds to force a jump-ball in a 83-78 victory. With Oregon knocking off fourth-ranked and undefeated Arizona earlier in the evening, Gonzaga will likely take another small leap up the AP Poll, making a strong argument for best in the West. The ‘Zags will travel to Indiana on January 19 to slug it out with their Bulldog counterparts, Butler, who are currently ranked fourteenth.

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