All these upsets are making this tournament fun! Relax, everyone’s brackets are wrecked. Dunk U. (FGCU) has won everyone’s heart, not Hart. Mike Hart and the Zags are out, much to the pleasure of Ben. The Mariners made a few moves and we are torn on whether they are good or not. Watch out of all the innuendos!
Other topics touched on:
- Hansen swoops another 7% on the Kings.
- Heat streak is stopped at 27.
- USA soccer win in the snow and “win” a point in Mexico.
I heard a lot of chatter from the irrational Gonzaga fans before the NCAA tournament that Mike Hart and the #1 ranked Bulldogs were going to have no problem running through The Big Dance. There was the non-stop “Mike Hart has so much hustle!” or the “Long hair don’t care, Kelly Olynyk can’t be stopped!” Saying a guy has a lot of hustle without mentioning any other part of his game is the same as saying an ugly person is nice (trust me I know, I am really nice). Good players don’t get mentioned with the word hustle, because it goes without saying. All of this, of course, was based on the Zags wrecking the WCC. I know, I know, the WCC is terrible but Gonzaga fans were serious with the WCC talk. I am not even going to get back into how terrible that conference was.
The wheels almost came off in the first game against Southern. As RJ stated in the previous post, that game didn’t have any affect on the next game, which is true. It was merely just a sign of what was to come. Southern exposed Gonzaga for what they were, which is a below the rim team who relied too much on jumpers. That works fine against the crappy WCC, but it doesn’t work against the best teams in the nation. Wichita State put the nails in the coffin on a familiar sight for Gonzaga, putting the Bulldogs out in the Round of 32.
Now that we have seen Gonzaga go do the same ol’, same ol’ in the tourney, all you irrational Zag fans can zip it up with all the “we deserve to be #1″ talk, forever. Gonzaga is a very successful program and what has happened in Spokane fan should be proud of. However, they are only the best of the second tier. Your blind fandom as irrational fans makes for a great atmosphere in The Kennel, but makes it impossible to tell you about the flaws of your team. No matter how many times you were told your team lacks depth, back-court size, they hadn’t played a decent team in almost three months, or the lack of athleticism, you wouldn’t listen to the rational folks of the world. Maybe, you will start to listen after another bad showing on the big boys’ stage.
Irrational Zag fan you have once again been humbled by the poor play of your team against tournament teams. I have used my “Jump to Conclusions” mat to notice that your lack of Facebook, Twitter, texts and other social media mean…
Dick Vitale was quoted yesterday to say Gonzaga would lose their next game against Wichita State, given their poor performance against Southern.
Do I agree with Dicky V.?
The short answer is a resounding “NO!” The long answer is a bit more complicated than that…
Here’s a quick history lesson. In 1989, #1 seed Georgetown beat Princeton by 1, 50-49. They went on to win their next game by 13. In the same year, #1 seed Oklahoma beat East Tennessee St. by 1, 72-71. They won their next game by 43, 124-81.
Yes, Gonzaga’s win against Southern was the smallest margin of victory for a #1 seed since 1996. And the game was tied with less than four minutes to play. That’s why they play 40 minutes, not 36.
In 1982, #1 seed North Carolina beat #9 seed James Madison 52-50 in the second round. NC went on to beat Alabama, Villanova, Houston, and Georgetown to win the tournament.
In 1983, NC State won 5 of their 6 games by a total margin of 13 points (two games by one, two games by two, and one game by seven…they beat Utah by 19 in the Sweet Sixteen) and went on to win the tournament.
In 1993, eventual runners-up, #1 seed Michigan, beat UCLA by only two in the second round.
I could keep listing situations where teams who eventually won (or went to the Championship Game) had a close-call with a team they should beat. It happens almost every year, and that’s what we all love about the NCAA Tournament. Every game is a new game, especially in the NCAA Tournament.
The Zags could absolutely lose their game against Wichita State on Saturday. But it won’t be because of their performance against Southern. It won’t be because Elias Harris went 2-10 a day ago. It won’t be because Southern had eight blocks while Gonzaga had zero. It will be because Wichita State outplays them (more specifically, out-rebounds them).
Gonzaga also has a blessing disguised as a curse. They can compete with anyone. In turn, that also means anyone can compete with Gonzaga. And though they won 31 games this season, there were a few close calls with teams who had no business competing with a #1 seed in the Tournament (i.e. San Diego).
Hold on to your butts, Zags fans. Your team is bound to put a few more gray hairs on your noggin before the end of this tournament.
*As I write this, I realize the #3, #4, and #5 seed in the West Region have been knocked out in the Round of 64 (first time EVER that has happened in the same region)…clearing the way for Gonzaga, perhaps?*
If you missed all the college basketball going on this week thus far, you really missed out.
Three of the top four teams lost, including #1 ranked Indiana (Lost to Minnesota) and #3 ranked Duke (lost to Virginia). It also includes #4 ranked Michigan, who lost to Penn State. For the record, that is Penn State’s ONLY Big Ten Conference win thus far.
Something you might notice is #2 ranked Gonzaga is not in the group I listed above. On Thursday night, they were able to go into Provo, UT on Senior night, in front of nearly 20,000 fans and pull off a 70-65 victory over an inspired BYU team (isn’t every team inspired to beat Gonzaga though?).
Thanks to 19 points from the (you heard it here first) All-American, Kelly Olynyk, and 15 from Gary Bell Jr., the Zags held off a late-game surge by the Cougars to preserve their unblemished Conference record.
With these losses by Indiana, Duke, and Michigan, and assuming the Zags can beat Portland (11-19, 4-11 WCC) there is very little chance that any team will jump Gonzaga for the top ranking in the land. And as much as I dislike being the contrarian to my esteemed “colleague,” it is Gonzaga’s time.
One might be able to make a case that Gonzaga’s strength of schedule (SOS) is not that of Indiana or Michigan, and it shows in Joe Lunardi’s “Braketology.” Gonzaga’s SOS is 75, while Indiana’s is 24 and Michigan’s is 55. However, that’s why the Hoosiers and Wolverines, alike, can have twice as many losses and still be ranked above the Zags (before this week, at least).
The Zags have lost two games this year – an early season matchup against Illinois, and a buzzer-beater to Butler in Indianapolis. Both of those teams are in the top 50 RPI. They’ve won EVERYTHING ELSE. They crushed the likes of Oklahoma and Kansas State, they went to Stillwater and beat Oklahoma State, and they handled Saint Mary’s in both conference matchups (including a 17-point win in Moraga). This year, Gonzaga has beaten their conference foes by an average of 19 points. 19 POINTS!
As the regular season comes to an end, it is no longer about SOS or RPI or BPI or even ranking. It’s about who can win in the spotlight. And quite frankly, Gonzaga can play with any team out there.
They have a big man in Olynyk who has outside touch. Elias Harris is a guy who plays bigger than his 6’8” frame with a solid jump shot. They have exceptional guards in Kevin Pangos, Bell Jr., and David Stockton. They also have a number of guys in the bench who can contribute.
Sam Dower is a big man with inside finesse and the ability to knock down 20-footers. They also have Drew Barham – a guy who shoots .468 from behind the arc.
Gonzaga also has Hart. Sure they have “heart” as well, but the source of that heart is Mike Hart. Hart is from Portland, OR and walked on in 2008. He was not recruited by anyone. Now, he starts for one of the top teams in the land. A guy doesn’t get to where Hart is without unrelenting hustle and determination. I invite anyone to watch a Gonzaga game and follow Mike Hart around the court. I guarantee you’ll be tired just watching him.
It is now March, sports fans. It is time for bets, brackets, and buzzer-beaters. Who will be your pick to win it all? My pick will most likely be a team who hails from Spokane, Washington.
By now, I am sure most of you have heard the Minnesota Golden Gophers beat the #1 Indiana Hoosiers, last night at Williams Arena in Minneapolis. This has fans in Spokane getting really excited at the chance at having that “#1″ next to Gonzaga in Monday’s rankings. I am here to tell you Gonzaga not only doesn’t deserve to have the top ranking, but they won’t be sitting on top come Monday.
Let’s first start with the last time Indiana lost as the top ranked team in the land. They lost at Illinois, 74-72 and won at Ohio State, 81-68, before the next poll came out. At the time they held 58 of the 65 first place Associated Press votes. After the loss, there was a four-way split for the first place votes between Indiana (26), Duke (20), Miami (17) and Gonzaga (2). This will most likely be the case again. With Indiana holding all but one (Gonzaga) of the AP first place votes in the current poll. The votes will again be split between multiple teams come Monday, which will likely include: Indiana, Read the rest of this entry »
Big deals were being made all over the place. Felix got signed to a seven year deal worth $175M, the Kings are making trades to dump salary, and Gonzaga is making themselves a big deal in college basketball. The guys get down on more randomness and plant the seed for an event for all you listeners to get down on a prize. Find out what it is, as well as enjoying the randomness that is No Fair Weather Fans.