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Most importantly, though, they seem to enjoy playing together. And they don’t appear to be worried about any expectations other than their own.

“We’ve been playing great basketball all year,” Harris said. “We believe in ourselves, we believe in our coaches, we believe in our teammates. So we just try to go out there and play our game. We don’t think about that stuff because whatever you’re ranked _ 1st, 2nd or last _ you just go and play your game and it’ll all take care of itself.”

It did on this night, when the spotlight of being No. 1 shined brightly on Gonzaga. The Zags could have stumbled against a 27-5 team that hadn’t lost to anyone but Gonzaga since December, but they were coldly efficient in wrapping up their last bit of unfinished business before the tournament.

The Zags will formally get their No. 1 seeding Sunday and find out where they begin their quest for a national championship that suddenly doesn’t seem so farfetched. They’re good enough to be in Atlanta, good enough to win it all.

The wise guys in Vegas sure aren’t betting against them.


Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at) or