We do. As Zags fans, it would be a really cool thing. Mark Few said as much after the game yesterday.
I have to laugh at the outrage over Gonzaga being ranking at the top of the AP poll, for two reasons. First, it is completely irrelevant to anything that really matters. It isn't as if a national champ is being crowned by pollsters, like football pre-BCS style. Nor does it have any real bearing on how the NCAA selection committee looks at seeding. It's just for fun, a weekly rundown of the teams so that the guys on TV and radio can have something to talk about, and fans something to brag about. Aside from the local pride of being able to cite the accomplishment, nobody will care about who was ranked #1 in the regular season once the year is over. Yet, the outrage by fans of other teams is unending. It just doesn't matter. No Zags fan really believes their team is the best in college basketball, they just believe that, given the way the poll works and how teams move up and down, it makes sense to give them the number one spot now. And they're right. Second, it would be so stupid for voters to say that Gonzaga isn't good enough to be #1 when they have already voted that they were "good enough" to be #2. I mean, either they belong in the conversation (in which case, let them take the #1) or they don't (in which case, you had no justification for voting the Zags #5, #4, #3, or #2 on the way up). There is no magical entrance qualification for #1 that didn't exist before.
Do the Zags deserve #1? Absolutely. But, in some ways, I am torn between wishing for the fun of being able to say they were ranked there and the thought that maybe, should they be slighted in favor of IU or Duke or Kansas, the fire might burn a litte brighter for the guys heading into the tournament. After all, sports history has shown that perceived disrespect can be a strong motivator for young athletes. Thoughts?
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