As they did with the men over the weekend, the NCAA released their mid-season Top 16 for the women’s side on Monday night. Gonzaga received a four seed in the West (#14 overall), which would be the highest in school history. They will have another Top 16 update in three weeks.
It’s appropriate that this team sets another record, as they’ve been doing it all year. Their number 13 ranking in the AP and number 12 rank in the coaches’ poll are both school records. They rebounded from a loss in Provo by beating each of their next six opponents by double digits. They now own a gaudy 22-2 record on the season. BYU has since lost three times, and Gonzaga can essentially wrap up the regular season championship on Saturday afternoon when they host BYU.
If Gonzaga were to hold on to a top four seed, the McCarthey Athletic Center would host the Bulldogs pod for the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. The women’s side of things still uses the RPI and Gonzaga is currently number 13 in that lovely metric. Their wins over Stanford and Rutgers will go a long way, but they also own wins over conference leaders Missouri State and Idaho, along with Idaho State and Western Kentucky, who are both in the top three of their conferences. If Gonzaga reaches the Sweet 16, they would most likely face off with number one seed Oregon and former Head Coach Kelly Graves, which would be absolutely tremendous.
Eight Zags average at least 20 minutes, highlighting their depth this season. Six of those players score at least eight points a game. The two that don’t, make their impact felt in other ways. LeeAnne Wirth has started all 24 games and is second on the team in offensive rebounds. Jessie Loera leads the team in both assists and steals in conference play.