“March madness” is just around the corner, when all the best college basketball teams compete in the NCAA tournament.
Unfortunately, University of Washington fans have had a dismal season and won’t make the tournament unless they pull a string of shocking upsets and actually win the Pac 10 tournament. That’s not going to happen.
WSU Cougar fans have even less to cheer about. They have an even worse record than the Huskies.
But basketball fans in this state do have a team with a bandwagon worth climbing onto: the 27-2 Gonzaga Bulldogs.
The Jesuit school based in Spokane have just made school history by being ranked #2 in the country in the latest AP poll.
Gonzaga’s been good for about a decade now but they’ve never been this good, or this highly ranked.
This may not be the end, “Gonzaga will be at the top of the AP poll at the end of the regular season.” That wasn’t a Gonzaga homer talking, that’s Fox Sports’ Reid Forgrave.
He realizes Gonzaga has its doubters. “I know the west coast conference is not a power conference but their conference schedule is very difficult. They beat four Big 12 teams. Their only real loss was to a, at that time, streaking Illinois team. I see them as not just having the best front court of all the mid-majors I see them as having the best front court in the nation.”
CBS Basketball analyst Jay Bilas agrees – Gonzaga has a great, great big man in Kelly Olynyk. “A seven-footer, he’s from Toronto. They call it the “Olynyk Clinic” that he’s putting on. He’s playing great, averaging 18 points per game. He’s got one of the biggest field goal percentages in the country, shooting close to 70 percent effective field goal percentage and his efficiency is just off the charts,” Bilas said. “There really isn’t a better big man in the country.”
If you have the best big man in the country , you can go far in the Tournament. And Forgrave says Gonzaga has great team chemistry too.
I think a #1 ranking for Gonzaga is within the realm of possibility, especially since Indiana has a tough couple of final games.
If getting on the Gonzaga bandwagon makes you uncomfortable, you might want to take comfort in the fact that Gonzaga has not only never made it to the final four, it’s never made it past the Sweet 16 and has lost in the 2nd round the last 3 years.