Riding a ten-game winning streak, Gonzaga is without a doubt one of the hottest teams in the nation. That hot streak has resulted in a number of projections that have them landing as a top seed in the approaching NCAA Tournament. In Joe Lunardi's most recent Bracketology, he too has the Zags as a top seed. In fact, he has the Bulldogs as his third No. 1 seed. However, he also includes some thoughts on his current bracket and, more importantly, what he thinks will really happen when the brackets are unveiled. In that piece, he includes this chart:
|Team||S-CURVE||#1 Seed Odds|
|Miami (FL)||No. 7||35%|
|Michigan St||No. 8||25%|
While I think most Gonzaga fans understand this, it is just important to keep noting that even though GU currently sits as a one-seed at the moment in most projections, they don't necessarily control their own destiny. In fact, five teams have better odds at the moment than Gonzaga to capture that one-seed and Miami has the exact same odds as Gonzaga. Lunardi explains that with a series of bullet points here.
- Barring a complete collapse, Indiana stays a No. 1 seed regardless of its play in the Big Ten tournament.
- Duke and Miami determine a second No. 1 seed via their rematch this Saturday or, more likely, a potential "rubber game" for the ACC tournament championship.
- Michigan takes the third spot on the top line if it goes 4-0 to end the regular season, including home court rematches against Michigan State and Indiana.
- Florida and/or Kansas secure the last No. 1 seed position by running the table in the SEC and Big 12, respectively, including a conference tournament championship.
- The weaker of Florida or Kansas is surpassed by the eventual Big East champion -- Georgetown, Louisville or Syracuse -- if one of those three is a "double dipper" (regular season and conference tournament titles).
- Michigan State surpasses Michigan with a season sweep of the Wolverines and a spot in the Big Ten title game.
- Gonzaga grabs a No. 1 seed only if the Big Ten, Big East, SEC and Big 12 scenarios outlined above leave an unclaimed spot on the top line (and the Zags sweep both the WCC regular season and conference tournament).
While this is pretty darn convoluted, there are three main takeaways as a Gonzaga fan...
A) Win out in the regular season and win the conference tourney (dominate if possible).
B) Root for Michigan to stumble down the stretch. A second Big Ten team on the top line would make it very tough for Gonzaga to get a one-seed
C) Root against Florida and Kansas. I expect Florida to get a one-seed due to how weak the SEC is but if they stumble, they should fall off the top-line which would clear a path for Gonzaga should they win out.
As a sidenote, it is very possible that I misinterpreted Lunardi's explanation but I think the above three things are what we really need to be watching for as it pertains to being a one-seed. Should Gonzaga lose, who knows how far they fall - but I'm not evening considering that option.