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.