For Gonzaga, Telecast Was Scream 2

March 17, 2000

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Another epidemic of Bulldog Fever raged through the city of Spokane as Gonzaga upset Louisville in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Screaming fans filled sports bars and taverns around the Jesuit school to watch the 77-66 win Thursday night.

"Zagalicious!" came a scream from DeSmet Hall, a dormitory.

With many Gonzaga students in Tucson, Ariz., for the game, and others at local watering holes, it was a mostly young contingent that was cheering on the team at the Crosby Student Center.

"We love our Zags," read a poster outside the building.

The place was filled with food, two televisions sets, blue Kennel Club T-shirts, posters and pompoms, reporters, anchors and photographers from local TV stations.

The game started at 4:50 p.m., and student Cliff Duke was bemoaning his educational psychology class at 5. Professors apparently weren't canceling classes, as they did last year when Gonzaga advanced to the final eight.

At the Bulldog Tavern near campus, fans screamed during much of the game.

"If they play their game, I don't think anybody in the nation is going to disrespect them," Will Renfro said.

Local fans, some calling themselves Zag Nuts, noted some similarities to last year, when the Bulldogs beat Minnesota in the first round and faced second-seeded Stanford in the second round.

This time, the Bulldogs play second-seeded St. John's on Saturday.

"Go Gonzaga! G-O-N-Z-A-G-A!" fans chanted at The Ram, a downtown watering hole.

"It's great to see them make it this far," fan Jeff Zabinski said.

Many of the fans are used to watching the Bulldogs on television. Gonzaga tickets were hard to get this season, following the unexpected success last year.

Spokane television stations that weren't showing the game kept cutting into programming with live updates Thursday night and made special announcements when the game ended.



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