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Lovable underdogs no more, Gonzaga roars into tournament with top seeding, top billing

Gonzaga certainly won't catch anyone by surprise this year.

Long ago considered the plucky underdog, the Bulldogs come into this year's NCAA tournament top-seeded in the West and with the No. 1 ranking in The Associated Press poll.

Led by 7-foot center Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga (31-2) opens the tournament Thursday against Southern University (23-9), the champions of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

Gonzaga is making its 15th straight appearance in March Madness, a streak surpassed only by Kansas, Michigan State and Duke.

Coach Mark Few says the No. 1 seeding won't change his approach for the tournament.

He says Gonzaga needs to come into Thursday's game much the way the Bulldogs of old used to — with a chip on their shoulders.