Matchup: Gonzaga vs. West Virginia
4:20 p.m. Thursday in Pittsburgh (TNT) Record: 25-6 overall, 13-3 in West Coast Conference (2nd place). Conference tournament: Gonzaga lost...
4:20 p.m. Thursday in Pittsburgh (TNT)
Record: 25-6 overall, 13-3 in West Coast Conference (2nd place).
Conference tournament: Gonzaga lost in the WCC championship game to Saint Mary's.
Seed: 7. RPI: 24. Bid: At-large.
Coach: Mark Few (341-89 in 13 years at Gonzaga).
|F||Guy Landry Edi||6-6||Jr.||5.6||2.4||0.9|
|G||Gary Bell Jr.||6-1||Fr.||10.0||2.4||1.9|
Record: 19-13 overall, 9-9 in Big East (8th place).
Conference tournament: The Mountaineers lost to Connecticut in overtime in the second round.
Seed: 10. RPI: 56. Bid: At-large.
Coach: Bob Huggins (710-266 in 30 years at Walsh, Akron, Cincinnati, Kansas State and WVU; 120-55 at WVU).
|West Virginia starters|
Common opponents: WVU beat Oral Roberts 78-71 at home in its opener, GU beat ORU 67-61 at home Dec. 15; GU beat Notre Dame at home 73-53 Nov. 30 and Notre Dame swept WVU, 55-51 and 71-44.
West Virginia vs. Gonzaga: This is the first meeting between the teams.
• The Mountaineers' 19 victories are the fewest in Huggins' tenure in Morgantown, and lowest since he won 17 at Cincinnati in 2003 (a season that ended with Gonzaga's first-round NCAA victory).
• Mountaineers forward Kevin Jones (6-8, 260) was the Big East leader in scoring in conference games at 19.0 and also led in rebounding at 10.9. NBADraft.nethas Jones as a late-first-round pick this year, while DraftExpress.comhas him going early in the second.
• West Virginia is one of nine Big East teams headed to the NCAA tournament, the most of any league. Seton Hall was considered a 10th possibility, but failed to make it as a bubble team.
• WVU actually allows a higher shooting percentage (.446) than it hits (.441). Its three-point shooting (.302) is a major Achilles, but the Mountaineers have a robust 6.8 rebounding margin.
• Gonzaga isn't a stranger to Big East teams, having gone 5-3 against that league since 2008. The Zags opened the NCAA tournament last year with an 86-71 victory over St. John's. But they were blown out by Syracuse in the second round of the NCAA in 2010, 87-65.