NW Sports from the AP

Date: 03/18/2013 06:02 AM

Here is the latest Washington, Oregon and Alaska sports news from The Associated Press


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Top-ranked Gonzaga earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, and the Zags will face No. 16 seed Southern in their West Region opener Thursday. The Zags joined Louisville, Indiana and Kansas as top seeds when the 68-team field was announced yesterday. Gonzaga has been the marker for mid-major success, reaching the NCAA tournament 15 straight seasons and the regional finals four times, including the past two seasons. This season, the Zags, behind Kelly Olynyk, broke through a big barrier on their way to 30 wins and an unbeaten run in the West Coast Conference: the No. 1 ranking.

(AP) – In the space of a week, Oregon ran an emotional gamut. The Ducks ended the regular season with a thud – losing their final two games – then turned around and won the Pacific-12 Conference tournament. Now Oregon heads into the NCAA tournament as the No. 12 seed in the Midwest Region. The Ducks will face No. 14 Oklahoma State, the fifth seed in the Midwest, on Thursday in San Jose, Calif. Coach Dana Altman believes Oregon is stronger because of the roller-coaster they’ve been on.

SEATTLE (AP) – Washington will play in the NIT for the second straight season and open the tournament on the road at BYU. Brackets for the NIT were released last night. The Huskies will be a No. 6 seed in the bracket where Southern Mississippi is the top seed. The Huskies and third-seeded BYU will play tomorrow night in Provo, Utah. Washington ended the regular season 18-15 after falling to Oregon in the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals. A year ago, the Huskies were a No. 1 seed in the NIT.

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) – Blake Beavan turned in his best performance of the spring yesterday, allowing one run and three hits in six solid innings to help the Seattle Mariners beat a Texas Rangers split squad 4-3. Mariners centerfielder Franklin Gutierrez played his first game since March 9. He was out because of tightness in his legs. Gutierrez batted leadoff and went 0 for 2 with a walk. The 24-year-old Beavan is competing with Jon Garland, Erasmo Ramirez, Jeremy Bonderman and Brandon Maurer for one of two remaining spots in the starting rotation. He was perfect through three innings before running into trouble in the fourth.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is officially over with the last team to finish in Nome. Forty-six-year-old rookie Christine Roalofs of Anchorage finished the 1,000-mile race with her 11-dog team at 1:36 p.m. yesterday. Roalofs gets the race’s Red Lantern award for arriving last. Fifty-three-year-old Mitch Seavey won this year’s race, which began with 66 teams March 2 at a ceremonial start in Anchorage. The competitive part began March 3 in Willow 50 miles to the north.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.