Uncle Si wrote: Sarlacc83 wrote:
This. I can't stress this enough - they just don't have the look of a team that will go deep in the tournament this year. So far, I've watched them 3 times, the OkSU game, one I forget now and the most recent Santa Clara game. They deserve to be ranked #1 right now, but I'll be fairly shocked if they make it past the sweet 16.
At this point, I think we're going to be shocked at who *IS* actually in the sweet sixteen. Gonzaga might be the only team that's had consistent success.
the issue with their "consistent" success is that it comes against a notably weak schedule. Should they apologize for that? Absolutely not? And do they deserve to be #1 in the nation? Yep.
But Zags fans cant get defensive when the rest of the nation isnt buying the hype as them being an elite 8 team. The teams that have been ranked #1 have subsequently gone up against other top 10 teams almost immediately. Gonzaga doesnt have the problem/luxury.
Now, I think Gonzaga would win the Pac-12. I do. But I also think they will struggle to make it to the Elite 8 and it will end there. Wont be surprised if they make the Final Four (would enjoy it, much like Butler), but they havent really passed any tests to prove that sort of longevity, yet.
Thats whats interesting... they wont find a test until the tourney. so the question will remain that until they do.
First, I do agree that if Gonzaga was in the Big 10, they'd have more than 2 losses. I still think they'd be competitive with Indiana for the Big 10 title, though.
Moving on, it might be helpful to reference the numbers concerning my assertions. Here's some good resource on the team of Gonzaga without diving into the asinine notion that their conference makes them a better or worse team. (Memphis wasn't a crap team in 2008 even though they were/are in the Conference USA).
Gonzaga meets raw efficiency stats of a National Champion(Scroll to the bottom)if not some statistical trends:http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketb ... e-favorite
When compared to teams of years past using Ken Pomeroy rankings, they're right at the historic line of the 'final' 1 (i.e. the team ranked #4 on the 68 team curve.) in terms of its 'strength'.http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketb ... lity-cliff
What is important is that this might be one of the weakest fields we've seen in an NCAA tournament (yet) which will likely mean lots of upsets. It also means that Gonzaga may not be as tested this year as some might predict because the teams that are closer to the 2011 line are the ones likely to get knocked off in any given round.
Again, as I mentioned, I don't have a fan's skin in the outcome, since I agree they're unlikely candidates for the Final Four given the fact only one coach who didn't have a previous trip to the Elite Eight has done it, but I think a bow out before the Elite Eight, at least at this snapshot in time, is also unlikely given the level of play Gonzaga has produced and the level of quality it will see in the field. But again, I'll know more when we see those matchups because then I'll have better ideas of the probabilities of each matchup. (I seriously go through the process of handicapping every potential matchup.) If they get unlucky and have a team like Ohio State as the #4 in their region as in the latest ESPN bracketology (link: http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/bracketology
), then I could see them losing in the Sweet Sixteen, too.