SPOKANE, Wash. -- No. 1 seed Gonzaga (31-2) will play no. 16 seed Southern University (23-9) in Salt Lake City in the Zags' first round game of the NCCA Tournament Thursday.
This is the first time Gonzaga has ever snagged a number one NCAA Tournament seed in the school's history. It is Gonzaga's 15th straight trip to the tournament and 16th overall.
If Gonzaga wins on Thursday they will face the winner of Pittsburgh/Wichita St. on Saturday.
Gonzaga's previous highest seed in the tournament was in 2004 as a No. 2 seed. They ended up losing to Nevada in the second round.
The Southern Jaguars are from Baton Rouge. They won the SWAC Tournament championship on Saturday with a 45-44 victory over Prairie View A&M. Their biggest win of the year was on the road over Texas A&M 53-51.
The Jaguars are known for their great defense. They gave up an average of 57.1 points per game this season while holding opponents to 36-percent field goal shooting and 28-percent from three-point range.
Southern is led by 6'4" senior guard Derick Beltran who averages 15.9 points per game.
Six-foot-six junior guard Malcom Miller comes off the bench to give the Jaguars instant offense, averaging 15.8 points per game on 51-percent field goal shooting, including 46-percent from three.
Southern's liability is their size. The Jaguars were outrebounded by their opponents slightly over the course of the year, with Southern averaging 35.2 to their opponents' 35.3.
Six-foot-10 center Brandon Moore is their most accomplished post presence, averaging 6.2 points per game and 7.1 rebounds.