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NCAA women's basketball tournament comes to Spokane; 2 NW men's teams still playing

Doug Nadvornick/Spokane Public Radio

Stanford, Maryland, Texas and one yet-to-be-determined team will play Friday at Spokane Arena.

The NCAA women’s basketball tournament will come to Spokane this week.

We know three of the four teams who will be playing here on Friday. The defending champion Stanford Cardinal will play the Maryland Terrapins. The Texas Longhorns will play the winner of this afternoon’s Ohio State-Louisiana State game. Friday’s games are scheduled to begin at 4 and 6:30 pm. Tickets are still available. There are no Covid restrictions, as of now.

Meanwhile, the Gonzaga men’s team has moved on to the Sweet Sixteen round in San Francisco on Thursday. The Zags will play the Arkansas Razorbacks. Duke, with retiring legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski, will play Texas Tech in the other game. The winners move on to a Saturday game for the right to go the Final Four. Gonzaga was in the Final Four last year.

Two Inland Northwest college basketball teams continued play Sunday in national tournaments.

The Washington State men’s team moved on to the third round of the National Invitation Tournament, or NIT, the second-tier tournament in men’s basketball. The Cougars raced to a 19-point halftime lead and held on to win at Southern Methodist, 75-63, on the Mustangs’ home floor.

“To beat a team on their home floor that won 19 in a row, senior-laden team, really good talent, knew they were going to have a big punch at us in the second half and we were able to persevere, something we hadn’t been able to do early in the year, but hopefully we’ve gotten better. It’s hard to get leads on people when we led it start to finish and I’m really proud of our guys," WSU Coach Kyle Smith said after the game.

The Cougars are now 21 and 14 and play the other Cougar team in college basketball, the Brigham Young University Cougars, on their home floor in Provo, Utah, on Wednesday night. Game time is 6 pm Pacific time.

The Gonzaga women ended their run at the NCAA women’s tournament in Louisville, Kentucky.

On Sunday, the Zags lost to top-seeded Louisville on the Cardinals’ home floor, 68-59. The game started with Louisville scoring the first 14 points of the game and Gonzaga rallying with the next 12. It was close through the first half. But Louisville extended its lead in the second half and the Zags were playing catch up.

“I’m so proud of this team. We didn’t just roll over and die," said Gonzaga's Kayleigh Truong. "They did swing pretty hard in the beginning, but digging ourselves out of that hole, it just comes to show that we’re more than willing to fight, whatever it is. We’re not backing down from anybody.”

The Zags finish their season with a 27-7 record.

One of the Northwest's most seasoned reporters is returning to his SPR roots. Doug Nadvornick will be heard frequently on KPBX and KSFC reporting on local news.