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Gonzaga Basketball

Zags leave for Memphis, learn UNC's Lawson will play

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SPOKANE, Wash. - Wednesday is a travel day for the Gonzaga Bulldogs, as they are scheduled to leave Spokane at 11:30 bound for Memphis where they'll face North Carolina on Friday.

After beating Western Kentucky, and then practicing at home all week in the comfortable confines of the McCarthey Athletic Center, it's off to the next challenge - the Zags' fifth Sweet 16.

Perhaps on the mind of some Zags, if not the coaches at least, is the fact that the Tar Heels' Ty Lawson said he's healthy and expects to play on Friday.  He's battled a nagging toe injury, missing three games before helping to oust LSU from the tournament in the second round.

With Lawson in the lineup, it's just one more thing the Gonzaga coaches have to take into consideration when planning for Friday's pressure-filled contest.

"They'll beat you with the shots, they'll beat you with the offensive rebounds," said Mark Few on Monday.  "They'll beat you getting to the free throw line."

And their defense is nothing to sneeze at either.  Few said North Carolina is better defensively that most people think.  They way he seeds it, the Tar Heels may seem to give up more points because they play a faster, up-tempo style of basketball that gives both teams more opportunities to put points on the scoreboard.

"Night in and night out, their defense is as good as anybody's," Few said.

General tickets went on sake to the public at 9 a.m. Wednesday.  Prices were $159, which included admission to all games in Memphis this weekend.

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