Let’s face it – things are different this year. The Zags will not be getting a 1-seed come March and won’t be favored to make the Final Four (let alone win the WCC at this point). But that isn’t to say that we have no hope for a deep tournament run. These guys know what it takes to fight in the trenches of the Madness, led by Mark Few who has entered the 2nd weekend of the NCAA tournament each of the past three years. However, before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look at where Gonzaga currently stands for March if the season ended today.
The rankings are hard to examine, as it seems that the Zags find themselves at both ends of the spectrum. Looking at the RPI, I begin to sweat. Is this year’s team really that low? With a ranking of 49, one might think the Zags could find themselves on the bubble with a loss or two in the future, which could very well be true. The Bulldogs’ Strength of Schedule is also a jaw-dropper at a steep 157. With games against the likes of Villanova, Creighton, Saint Mary’s, Florida, and Ohio State, this season’s schedule seemed to be everything we wanted. However, according to some crazy statistics and a few pad-your-stats contests (*Ahem* Incarnate Word), this team is ranked on the low end of the SOS.
Then there’s the other side of the coin, which gives us hope. The Zags are in the top 10 in the BPI, and in the top 15 in both the AP and Coaches Polls. The KenPom rankings also have the Zags in the top 10. We can only hope that the latter surpasses the state of the RPI and the SOS.
So, what do the so-called bracket gurus think of the Zags? Let’s take a look:
- ESPN’s Joe Lunardi: 6-seed in the Midwest playing in Dallas
- CBS’ Jerry Palm: 4-seed in the Midwest playing in Boise
- SBNation’s Chris Dobbertean: 8-seed in the West playing in Detroit
- The Washington Post’s Patrick Stevens: 6-seed in the Midwest playing in Dallas
Again, we are left with confusion. Zag Nation can only hope that Jerry Palm has some sort of inside info that will inevitably gift the Zags with a 4-seed and a 6-hour drive to Boise for Gonzaga fans – that would be ideal. When looking at everything, though, it seems more feasible that the boys will land in the 6-7 range if the season ended today. However, this Saturday’s battle against rival St. Mary’s is huge for the Bulldogs tournament resume. With a big win this weekend in Moraga, the Zags would put themselves in prime position to enter the tournament in the 4-5 range.