WVU fans know all about the Mountaineers, but what about Gonzaga?
West Virginia University fans know all about their team, state and school, celebrated for their rugged work, play and buckskin wearing, musket toting Mountaineer.
But what about WVU’s opponent Thursday in the NCAA tournament in San Jose, Calif. – Gonzaga?
Here are a few facts about the school, posted on the university’s website, that shed some light on this West Coast opponent.
First of all, let us get to this right up front -- the proper pronunciation of the school’s name. It’s Gone – ZAG (as in “bag”) uh.
Since WVU doesn’t regularly square up against this opponent, you may not even know where it’s located. The private liberal arts college is in Spokane, Washington, 2, 311 miles from the campus of WVU.
With a total enrollment of just about 7,500 students, Gonzaga is much smaller than WVU, which the university’s website said had more than 31,000 students in the fall of 2016.
Gonzaga’s website says it provides a Catholic liberal arts education and offers 75 fields of undergraduate study, three doctoral degrees and has a law school.
Some of its notable alumni include late actor and singer Bing Crosby, Thomas Foley, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and John Stockton, the NBA’s all-time assists and steals record-holder.
The school’s nickname is officially the Bulldogs, but the team also is known as the Zags.
On the court, Gonzaga, the No. 1 seed in the West Region, is 34-1 this year. Meanwhile, the Mountaineers, the No. 4 seed in the region, have a record of 28-8.
Gonzaga plays in the West Coast Conference, while WVU, of course, plays in the Big 12. While Mountaineer fans are familiar with the Big 12, with such opponents as Baylor and Oklahoma, the West Coast Conference might be a bit of a mystery. Other West Coast conference members are BYU, Portland, Saint Mary’s, Loyola Marymount, San Diego, Pacific, San Francisco, Pepperdine and Santa Clara.
While Gonzaga might be a bit of a mystery to you, this is not the first time WVU has played hoops against the West Coast school. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series 3-0, according to ncaa.com. The last time the team’s faced, in the 2012 NCAA tournament, Gonzaga prevailed, 77-54 in the opening round.
How are you watching Thursday’s game between the Mountaineers and the Bulldogs? Will you be in San Jose, at a sports bar, or just watching at home? Submit your videos and photos showing your team pride for a chance to have them displayed on-air, online and social media. Submit here. http://bit.ly/2nFW3AY
The game tips off at an estimated 7:39 p.m. Thursday. ESPN favors Gonzaga by three points.