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In for long haul, Zags make a long haul

Gonzaga made a 2,300-mile trip to get to HSBC Arena but there's probably no school in the entire tournament more equipped to dealing with such arduous travel. The Zags annually play a national schedule and have already gone this year from Spokane, Wash., to East Lansing, Mich., Honolulu, New York, Chicago, Memphis as well as all their normal trips in the WCC.

"We've been better on the road this year," said Matt Bouldin. "Keys are rest, drinking a lot of water and then go into the right mindset. We've been in many of these games before and we know it's going to be a battle and go in tough-minded."

The Zags have gone to four Sweet 16s and the 1999 Elite Eight over the last 10 NCAA Tournaments. They have a tough draw in this bracket as an eight seed against Florida State and then, likely, Syracuse. But if they get to Sunday against what would be a very partisan crowd, that's something they're completely used to.

"We start early in the season. The second game of the year we flew to East Lansing and put our guys in a pretty tough environment in the Breslin Center against a very good Michigan State team," said coach Mark Few. "I knew right then and there we'd learn a lot about ourselves. These guys battled and battled down to the last possession before losing (75-71) but I think it really helped us. Whether it's flying to Maui or Memphis or Madison Square Garden, we try to play a lot of these games and the reason i do it is to try to prepare for the NCAA Tournament."

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington)

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