Zips fans often desire for their team to become the "Gonzaga of the East."
Akron will have a chance to measure itself head-to-head against its role model on Thursday.
No. 13 Akron will play No. 4 Gonzaga in Portland for the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1986. The winner will play Illinois or Western Kentucky in the Second Round. No. 1 North Carolina potentially awaits in the Sweet Sixteen.
It might feel like a home game for the Bulldogs. Portland is a five-hour trip from Gonzaga's campus in Spokane, Wash.
Gonzaga relies on two seniors, big man Josh Heytvelt and point guard Jeremy Pargo. The Bulldogs have lost two games to solid mid-majors, Utah and Portland State. However, they have only lost once since Jan. 7 -- and that loss was to Memphis.
I will have more on Gonzaga as the week progresses. Remember to sign up for the AK-Rowdies Bracket Challenge, now that the brackets are released.