I’m wondering if there has ever been an easier path to the finals, at least in terms of seeds. 16, 8, 4, 11, 7 for an average of over 9. Can’t imagine that has ever happened before. I’m a huge Zags junkie and they really deserve it. They’ve had some bad luck, like running into UConn that one year on the way to a UConn national championship, so this just feels like it’s evening out. Don’t want to look past South Carolina, but this has been a really lucky draw.
Also, love how the profile of WCC coaches is on the rise. Few had a lot of haters, which was never justified. Bennett apparently just turned down Cal (although publicly it will probably be said an offer wasn’t made), which has that board up in arms and talking a lot about the success of St. Mary’s. Herb is a huge step up, Rose is legit, and it’s looking like Kyle Smith was a good hire. Then there’s a bigger payout due to the NCAA tourney success. All in, the league is looking much better than this same point last year.
Bennett’s too smart to take the Cal job (that would be a step down from SMC in my book). Also he’s had better offers and turned them all down in the past. Didn’t you go to grad school at Cal, Pickman?
Agreed that Zag’s have had some good fortune in this tourney… didn’t have to face AZ, Duke or Villanova. Then again, they did run into their fair share of buzzsaws in past tourneys. Here’s to them coming away with a title this season.
Gonzaga can’t choose its opponents in the big dance — they can only play (and beat) the teams they face. It will be a shame if their success gets downplayed because they had an “easy” path.
As much as I despise Gonzaga, I want to see them win it all to (1) put pressure on the other WCC members’ administrations to improve their respective hoops programs; (2) to stop hearing about how non-power conferences can’t win it all (Butler almost proved this point two years in a row, only to stumble in the Finals); and (3) to shut BYU up once and for all about stepping up to a “better” conference.
Gonzaga has been in the national spotlight for what, just shy of 20 years now? And no body still knows what a Santa Clara Bronco or Portland Pilot is. I dont think the Zags winning the whole thing does much for the respect of the league, after all, Gonzaga has been wiping the floor with everyone. If anything, I think there’s gonna be an increase of recruiting talent on their part, making the floor wiping even worse for the rest of us. If making the tourney was tough for us before, its now gonna be extremely tough going forward.
That said, congrats Gonzaga. I hate yall, but you deserve this. Go get em.