Bracketology: Let's talk Gonzaga's seeding

Ethan Miller

Gonzaga got its auto bid, now it has to wait a few days to see where it ends up.

Gonzaga beat BYU and now the Bulldogs are guaranteed a spot in the NCAA. The real question is just how low or high the committee will place the Zags?

Personally, I've never been a big fan of bracketology other than to use it as a gauge for the general area of where Gonzaga might theoretically end up. Reason being? Here is ESPN's Joe Lunardi, who has us as the No. 9 seed in the West Region. Here is SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean, who has us as the No. 9 seed in the Midwest Region. Here is CBS Sports, who has us as No. 11 seed in the Midwest Region. Finally, here is USA Today, who has us as the No. 9 seed in the South Region.

*please note that all of our placements were taken from the sites the morning of March 12, some sites like ESPN update the same page so Gonzaga might not be a No. 9 seed on Wednesday or Thursday

There is a slight spread there, and it looks like Gonzaga might end up anywhere from a No. 9 seed to a No. 10 seed, depending on how the rest of the major conference tournaments shake out. It seems rather unlikely that Gonzaga will move up at all, and if they do it would probably send them up to a No. 8 seed, which essentially is the same as being the No. 9 seed.

If you look past the second round, the difference between the No. 8/9 seed and the No. 10 seed this year is pretty negligible, in my opinion. The winner of the No. 8/9 seed goes on to play the No. 1 seed and the winner of the No. 10 seed goes on to play the No. 2 seed in the round of 32. Take a look at the polls this year. We've had five different teams ranked as the top in the country. Both Kansas and Wichita State ended up at No. 2 at some point in the year. Louisville, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Villanova all peaked at No. 3 at some time or another.

Obviously, the AP Poll doesn't actually mean anything other than people like to quantify things that don't necessarily need to be quantified. Like bracketology, it is a solid indicator on how good a team is in the grand scope of things. This year, college basketball has been very good at the top. Outside of a few midseason falls from grace (North Carolina and Ohio State come to mind), the top same 10 schools in the nation have shuffled about each week near the top of the polls.

So I'm not going to read into the details of bracketology too much for Gonzaga right now. Outside of Wichita State, there aren't any clear No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. If Florida, Arizona or Villanova lose they could drop from a No. 1 seed to a No. 2 seed, and that isn't some monumental decline in quality of basketball team. The Zags, by being one of those middle seeded teams, will have a hard path in the NCAA and that is all there is to make of it.

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