The Gonzaga Bulldogs play in a familiar arena and the Eastern Washington Eagles play in a familiar city when the state’s two entries in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament play their opening games.
Gonzaga (32-2), seeded second in the South Region, takes on No. 15 seed North Dakota State (23-9) at Seattle’s KeyArena Friday. The Bulldogs have staged an annual game in KeyArena since 2004, and they’re 3-1 in NCAA tournament games played there.
Eastern Washington (26-8) is the 13th seed in the South. The Eagles face No. 4 seed Georgetown (21-10) Thursday at the beautiful Moda Center, home of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers. Eastern’s annual game at Big Sky Conference rival Portland State is played in the Vikings’ tiny on-campus arena.
In addition to Gonzaga-North Dakota State, Friday’s games in Seattle match No. 7 South seed Iowa (21-11) and No. 10 Davidson (24-7); No. 5 East seed Northern Iowa (30-3) opposite No. 12 Wyoming (25-9); and No. 4 East seed Louisville (28-8) against No. 13 UC Irvine (21-12).
Game times and television networks will be announced later in the day along with an extensive SPNW.com look at Gonzaga, Eastern Washington and all eight teams coming to Seattle.