The second to the last regular season game of the season for Gonzaga is pretty important. A victory would give the Zags the WCC title outright. This would be pretty nice because the Zags lost their streak of consecutive WCC Titles last season and the players would like to get back on track as champions.
Also, with #1 ranked
falling to Minnesota,
there is the chance that the Zags could reach the elusive #1 position in the
National Polls. This is something no mid-major team has ever done. Gonzaga did
manage to get to #3 the last year Ronny Turiaf and Adam Morrison played
together. Some say Gonzaga plays in the weaker WCC Conference and would not
deserve a #1 ranking but, they had a strong out of conference schedule again
that included quality wins over such teams as ranked Oklahoma State, ranked
Kansas State, Oklahoma, Davidson, Clemson, Baylor and St. Mary’s twice. If
teams above them keep losing, and the Zags keep winning, it might become
impossible for them not to ascend to the top. It would be a remarkable feat for
Additionally, they need to keep winning in order to possibly secure a one seed in the NCAA Tournament. If they win vs. BYU and manage to beat
on their final regular season game, they could secure a #1 seed. My feeling is
that they will get bumped to the 2 line no matter what, as teams from Power 6
conferences will be juggling for the 4 one seeds. The Selection Committee will
pass over the Zags for a blue blood program such as Michigan
State or Kansas, right? If they do, so be it. If not,
it would be another remarkable accomplishment.
Lastly, the Zags just need to close out the season strong, if nothing more than for momentum heading into the NCAA Tournament. Having won 10 games in a row (only losing to
on a bad pass and a miracle shot), the Zags find themselves in a very good
position. They cannot afford to slip up now or everything that is on the line
is, well, off line.
I recall a couple of seasons ago Zag fans were super excited at the prospect of Gonzaga being seeded to play in
Spokane during the NCAA
Tournament. All the Zags had to do was keep winning, but they tripped up. The
Selection Committee rewarded them by sending them packing across the country to
Syracuse’ back yard
and we all know how that went. So, much indeed is at stake.
Can Gonzaga keep it rolling? I have a good feeling about this year’s team. They have played well on the road, in hostile arenas, and seem to be able to either grind out wins or run opponents off the court. With so much on the line, my gut feeling is that they will pull out a victory in
Provo and keep on track
for bigger and better things ahead.