Connections to Pacific Northwest basketball run deep in the Fina - KPTV - FOX 12

Connections to Pacific Northwest basketball run deep in the Final Four

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PHOENIX, AZ (KPTV) -

As the Oregon Ducks are about to enter their first National Semifinal since 1939, FOX 12's Nick Krupke sat down with two people who have close connections to Pacific Northwest basketball.

Blazer legend Terry Porter is in the first year as head coach of the Portland Pilots when they matched up against Gonzaga and has a spot in his heart for all things Pacific Northwest hoops.

"It's awesome. It really is. Obviously, the Pacific Northwest doesn't get enough attention so it's great to have collegiate basketball on a national stage and platform like this and draw more attention to that area," said Porter.

While watching the Oregon Ducks, Porter admires what head coach Dana Altman has built in his seven years in Eugene.

"There’s no doubt, California and Arizona get enough of it but when you talk about more Pacific Northwest, we don’t get as much so it’s great to see two teams and see the coaches have this type of success and see the kids be able to really see all of the hard work they put into it, to kind of reap those benefits," said Porter.

Porter knows what Gonzaga is all about twice during the University of Portland's West Coast Conference season.

"They are a powerhouse in the WCC but they’d be a pretty good team in any conference. They are just so balanced inside and outside. They have size, they have athleticism, they have speed so from that stand point, they are going to be a tough out," Porter said.

The Oregon women's basketball team advanced to their first ever Elite Eight in the third year under head coach Kelly Graves. Graves said he and the team are excited for the men's basketball teams' success.

"When they succeed, we feel like we succeed and I know that our games helped inspire them so just kind of a neat couple of weeks at the University of Oregon," said Graves.

Graves, who was the women's head coach at Gonzaga from 2000 to 2014, is in basketball heaven with his family in Phoenix.

"We're fans this weekend of two teams. I told the boys, they can wear their Zags t-shirts for the first game, rip 'em off and wear the Ducks stuff the second," said Graves.

Graves is hoping for an all Pacific Northwest National Title game on Monday.

"That would almost be a dream come true," Graves said.

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