This year's team looks to be the deepest squad we've had in Spokane for several years now and without any truly elite teams (like Kentucky last year, or some of the recent Kansas/UNC teams) lurking in the tourney, we may have our best shot at a deep run this March. That said, once the conference schedule gets underway, expect other teams to start making noise/falling apart as they upset conference rivals or maybe lose a road game to a team they should beat. The WCC is on the rise, as we now have 4 teams that can be considered "at least decent," even if BYU and SMC have had rocky starts to the season. I agree with Andy Glockner on SI when he said, essentially, that BYU, SMC, and Santa Clara are all better than their records indicate, but even so they still could use some big wins to shore up their resume. Hopefully the new "depth" in the WCC will be enough to keep us on the radar in the next couple of months. Kelly Olynyk's stellar play has gotten Seth Davis' attention (here), though those plaudits will probably decrease in the next couple months as the level of our competition dips. While I'm a little worried that we'll slip a few spots in the rankings (and maybe in the tourney seeding as well) due to the strength of our opponents, running the table would probably be enough to secure a high seed despite this built-in disadvantage.
ESPN's bracketology (link here) has us as a 2 seed playing in Salt Lake City (potentially playing against Kentucky as a 7 seed, which is a little unlucky bu-oh my God who cares this is a made up bracket). A 2 seed seems high until you realize that there probably aren't 8 teams that are better than we are right now.
SI's Bracket Watch (link here) has us as a 3 seed playing in San Jose. 3 feels a little more accurate, but if you look closely it seems like Glockner swapped us with Minnesota (a fair choice considering how hot they are right now). We'll see how they do during their conference slate.
To me, these two predictions are based on different but equally defensible assumptions. To Joe Lunardi at ESPN, Gonzaga has proven that they are a solid team so far and he thinks we will keep up our current level of play. For us to be a 2 seed, he must assume that we will run the table in the WCC and show up in March with 1 (or 2, if we are handed a "good loss" by Butler) losses. That's understandable, and something I probably agree with. To Glockner over at SI, we've been a solid team so far and all that jazz, but he (probably) assumes that we will lose a random game to a WCC opponent (not necessarily SMC, BYU, or Santa Clara). This has happened often enough in the past that it is perfectly reasonable to take it into account. Let's hope that the Zags play well enough to make the Tournament Committee's job a lot easier come March.