The No. 1 Problem With Gonzaga

Gonzaga players wait out the end of their loss to Wichita State. (USA Today Sports Images)

Gonzaga players wait out the end of their loss to Wichita State. (USA Today Sports Images)

Hi, we’re the NCAA tournament selection committee and, if you don’t mind, we’d like to reconvene and start this thing again.

We realized by Saturday night that we had joined the nation in losing our minds. We bestowed a No. 1 seed on Gonzaga. We have no excuse. It could have owed to confusion born of excessive parity. It could have owed to boredom and the wish for something fresh.

We could have gotten some bad coffee or a crumpet laced with something derelict.

Whatever, it’s clear we got it either wrong or ridiculously wrong. If East No. 7 seed Illinois can upset No. 2 seed Miami on Sunday evening, we will have been merely wrong. If Miami can defeat Illinois, then we got it ridiculously wrong.

Either way, we just blew it, and we blew it at the expense of an unusually likable team in Miami. Here play the Hurricanes with their steep collection of seniors and their dazzling point guard and their undervalued coach and their rarefied camaraderie and their splendid personalities. They should have made an exemplary West No. 1 seed.

Now, if all goes well for them, they might end up in an East Regional final playing — and losing to — No. 1 seed Indiana, when they ought to have had their own regional to mine. They won the ACC regular season and the ACC Tournament. Even their early loss to Florida Gulf Coast wasn’t so bad now, was it? They play in the ACC, and that’s just harder than the WCC.

But no, we had to forget that reality and go all gooey over Gonzaga’s gaudy 31-2 regular-season record, after which it played Southern and Wichita State and resembled a No. 1 seed almost never in those 80 minutes. If indeed the reality as the hunted got to Gonzaga, then we erred further in forgetting that it might thrive more as a lower seed.

We have mucked up our own tournament. We left some brackets too loaded and the West too meek. We can correct this blunder if you’ll just let us reconvene, tear up this mess and start over.

16 thoughts on “The No. 1 Problem With Gonzaga

    • I agree with Debbie, but I would include the season confrence winners and the confrence tournament winner and if they are the same team, then include the second place confrence winner. That in my opinion is the fairest way to the National Championship play off.
      Gonzaga should replace Coach Few with Leon Rice. Gonzaga was foolish to have let Mr Rice leave to coach Boise State. Coach Few always choke when he needs to coach. Players do not respect Few as they did with Rice. That is my personel observation during practices and game times. Who am I, just a Gonzaga Fan voicing my displeasures towards Few.

  1. Apologies? People play a game based on throwing a ball in the air and hoping it makes it into the basket. Theres no guarantee that the #1 team will always win. If that was the case, though, then why have a tournament then?

  2. I have no problem with the Gonzaga seeding. The problem I had was with the Oregon seeding they have beaten a 4 and 5 so far. That shows they were underseeded,

    • No, it doesn’t. I agree that they were underseeded but just because they beat a 4 and a 5 doesn’t mean they were, that’s just flawed logic

  3. The knives are all sharpened for Gonzaga, and no, they didn’t look good. But mighty Georgetown didn’t even make it out of the first round. No one is saying that they shouldn’t have had a 2 seed. The ultimate double standard. And just plain lazy writing.

  4. I do beleive that Gonzaga was in a complete disarray in the 1st game against Southern because they have a very good defense and were well prepared to play the Zags pick and roll. None of the players seemed to want to shoot the ball even if they had a wide open 2 or 3 pointer. The team tried to play unselfishly and this got them into trouble in the 1st half against Southern. In the 2nd game against Wichita St, another good defensive team that also played the pick and roll very tough. I have never seen Kelley or Elias each get stuff on their layups(should have went with the dunk(of which Mike Hart had an easy 1 but decided to try and lay it up and he too was stuffed). In the 2nd half they came out kinda slow then started to build up momentum when let the open man shoot When they got their lead they became tooooo defensive and quit playing offense try to potect a 10 point lead with 9 minutes to go. But Wh. State had 1 soph get hot 11points in 4 minutes, to little to late

  5. Unfortunately I was dumb enough to have them winning the national championship in my brackets. I really thought that they would have a chance because Easter is in March this year and God might show them some grace and mercy……. I guess God’s not Catholic.

  6. Gonzaga had a spectacular season and although their RPI and the rest of those computer numbers wre’nt as high as the commitee would have probably liked, they still had to win those games against weaker teams which stands out even more now because of all the upsets we are seeing throughout the tournament. do these upsets mean the commitee made mistakes in those seedings too? probably not. I think when you involve the top 25 teams, anyone can beat anyone on any given night the bottom line is Gonzaga was upset – simple as that.

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  8. Wichita State has been surprising people all season. They are a talented team that has played through 3 or 4 injuries to starting players to become a solid unit that has played well together to put up some surprising wins. Once in a while they have gotten cold and let a game get away from them but when they are playing up to their potential they are a solid team that has a chance to go a little deeper into the championship.

    • Thank you. Maybe the critical part of the equation is that Wichita is a pretty good team. They are certainly a very deep team, which counts for a lot more than people recognize. Baker was a started, missed the entire conference season, and went 4 of 6 from 3. Early is one of the top JUCO recruits from last year. Wiggins was too, actually, and he’s pretty deep on their bench.

      I am not a Wichita fan, but am a fan of a different MVC team. They have a habit of getting to Sweet 16’s from unfavorable seeding positions. Ask Kansas about UNI or Bradley. What they haven’t done in recent history is make it any further. Maybe Wichita can change that, and change this narrative.

  9. Yes, in hind-sight, Miami would love to be the #1 in the West right now. But believe me, when the brackets came out, they were very happy with a #2 and able to stay in the East. That’s the ACC’s home region.

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