It was a week that saw the Gonzaga Bulldogs cruise past their conference rivals in Saint Mary's and then absolutely wax the Pacific Tigers. With a pair of convincing home victories, it should come as no surprise that the Zags are still No. 3 in the latest polls.
Kentucky and Virginia still hold the top two spots in the polls. The Cavaliers are about the embark on a murders row of games as their next three games are home against #4 Duke, at #13 North Carolina, and home against #10 Louisville. If they come out of that stretch unbeaten, you have to think they jump Kentucky. I know the Wildcats have been the clear #1 team in the country thus far, but that stretch for UVA is unreal.
Meanwhile, Kentucky's road to March is paved with cupcakes. I know that sounds silly coming from a bloggers that covers Gonzaga but this season's SEC is not worthy of being called a power conference.
All this aside, one of my favorite things to do now is watch all the uproar on Twitter when the rankings come out and Gonzaga is No. 3. Here are some of my faves today:
Gonzaga has done nothing to deserve the #3 ranking. They play in a low level conference, and lost to the one good team they played.— Andrew Kreklow (@AndrewKreklow) January 26, 2015
Am I the only person who hates seeing Gonzaga ranked #3. They play nobody!— Levi Draughan (@LDraughan20) January 26, 2015
@SportsCenter Gonzaga is a joke!! Look at their conference !!!— MoneyAllInn (@camden0417) January 26, 2015
Gonzaga should never be ranked higher than like 7th— Benji (@_CoachAnt) January 26, 2015
All you can do with these opinions is smile because this article from a few weeks ago by Mark Titus sums up most of these folks. Here's a quote from that piece:
Let's get this out of the way right now: Gonzaga is really, really good. This is the best offensive team, the best defensive team, and the deepest team Mark Few has ever had. I'm not demanding that everyone think it's the best team in the country, but how about this compromise: If you're going to crap on the Zags, can you at least watch them play five times before you do? Can you at least realize that the typical anti-Gonzaga arguments don't apply this year?
Speaking of which, deploying the "they don't play anybody" argument at this point in the season is an easy way to inform the world that you don't know shit about shit. That line of reasoning may gain strength in a month, after Gonzaga blazes through an overmatched WCC, but as of today it has played a very strong schedule. The Zags have played true road games against three traditionally excellent programs (Arizona, UCLA, and BYU), and even though it was technically considered a neutral site, they also played St. John's in Madison Square Garden. They played SMU and Georgia. They opened their conference schedule with three straight road games and they will end up playing five of their first seven WCC games on the road.