2002 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

GAME: No. 11 Wyoming (21-8) vs. No. 6 Gonzaga (29-3).

REGIONAL: West, First Round.

TIME: Thursday, 7:40 p.m. EST.

SITE: The Pit, Albuquerque, N.M.

Wyoming always seems to face Gonzaga when its mad.

Unhappy with its low-seeding, the Bulldogs look to take out their frustration on the court as they face Wyoming in the first round of the West regional on Thursday.

The last time these teams met was the last time the Bulldogs failed to make the NCAA tournament and posted a 69-55 victory in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament on March 11, 1998.

The Bulldogs are coming into the tournament with a No. 6 seed that it's not happy with.

"If anything, it probably helps as far as getting our guys to play with a chip on their shoulders," coach Mark Few said.

Never before in the history of the NCAA tournament has a Top 10 team been seeded so low.

"We might as well have been the 11th seed," Gonzaga Zach Gourde said. "We didn't get any protection from the (selection) committee and so we'll just have to knock some people off like we have before."

For the first time, however, Gonzaga will be the higher-ranked team in the first round.

Gonzaga is making its third straight appearance, reaching the Sweet 16 all three times. Besides defending national champion Duke and Michigan State, the Bulldogs are the only teams to advance to at least the round of 16 the past three seasons.

Gonzaga, the West Coast Conference tournament champion, takes a 14-game winning streak, which ties a school record, into its opening game. Its 29 wins are also school record.

The ninth-seeded Cowboys are making their first appearance in the tournament since 1988.

Wyoming was the regular season champions of the Mountain West but was knocked out of the conference semifinals with a 70-69 loss to eventual winner San Diego State.

Gonzaga leads the all-time series with the Cowboys 2-1.

The winner of this game will face No. 3 Arizona or No. 14 UC-Santa Barbara on Saturday.

PROBABLE STARTERS: Wyoming - F Josh Davis (11.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg), F Marcus Bailey (14.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg), C Uche Nsonwu-Amadi (10.1 ppg, 8.2 rpg), G Donta Richardson (12.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg), G Jason Straight (9.2 ppg, 3.3 apg). Gonzaga - F Gourde (13.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg), F Anthony Reason (5.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg), C Cory Violette (12.7 ppg, 8.3 rpg), G Blake Stepp (9.3 ppg, 3.9 apg), G Dan Dickau (20.8 ppg, 4.7 apg).

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Wyoming - At-large bid, Mountain West Conference. Gonzaga - Automatic bid, West Coast Conference champions.

ALL-TIME TOURNAMENT RECORD: Wyoming - 8-18, 13 years. Gonzaga - 7-4, 4 years.

 

 

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