"We're just going to treat it as an away game; we're not sure what to expect," Pangos said of the game's close proximity to WVU and its fan base. "That's not what our concern is. We're more worried about our approach to the game, how we handle the other team and our own strategy."
The 6-1 Pangos was asked whether ignorance is a plus in a first NCAA Tournament.
"Yeah, sometimes," said Pangos, who is shooting 41 percent on 3-point attempts and has three 30-point games this season. "Obviously I've grown up watching March Madness. I always dreamed of playing at this level, so it's obviously really exciting.
"But at the same time I'm just going to treat it as any other game, play as hard as I can, not really look at any of the March Madness or blow it up too much. I'm just really excited and looking forward to the game (tonight)."
Few, whose teams played two Huggins-coached Cincinnati clubs, including a 2003 NCAA game won by the Zags (in which Huggins was ejected) said he knows what to expect from the Mountaineers.
"Well, they all kind of share the same Huggs' qualities," Few said when asked for a comparison from then to now. "They're tough. First, the thing that comes to your mind is just how tough they are and how physical they are, I mean, unbelievably physical.
"And they all rebound the ball well. This team rebounds the ball unbelievably well, especially the offensive end. I think they share those kind of same qualities, kind of year-in and year-out."
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ONE OF THE most-discussed matters surrounding the West Virginia-Gonzaga game has been the shipping of the 'Zags 2,231 miles to Pittsburgh for an East Region opener against WVU, which bused 75 miles to the Steel City.
In 2008, Gonzaga was a 7 and was sent to Raleigh, N.C., to face another 10 seed in Davidson. The Southern Conference team pulled the upset.
However, way more often than not in its current run of 14 straight NCAA bids, the Zags have been much closer to home.
Besides the trip to Raleigh and the one here, Gonzaga went way east from Spokane, Wash., only once, in 2010 to Buffalo, N.Y. In 2001, the Bulldogs were a 12 seed in Memphis, Tenn.
Otherwise, Gonzaga has begun its NCAA play in Seattle, Tucson, Ariz., and Salt Lake City (twice each), Portland, Ore., Sacramento, Calif., Denver and Albuquerque, N.M.
Few dismissed a lot of the hubbub about the cross-country travel to face a foe in its backyard.
"One thing we try to impart to our guys is to control what we can control and we don't have any control over when and where," the Gonzaga coach said. "We need to just take advantage of the fact we're in the tournament, play our best basketball on Thursday, that's what we're trying to focus on, and see if we can advance."
Contact Sports Editor JackBogaczyk at ja...@dailymail.com or 304-348-7949.