It is impossible to be critical of most teams this college basketball season because of the pandemic and just watching everyone try their best to make it all work out.
While the Zags have relatively been able to play this fantastic season somewhat unscathed (the pause coincided with the cancellation of the Baylor game, which although a bummer, is hopefully something we can see later), San Diego is quite the opposite.
The Toreros have played a total of 10 games this season. Their season didn’t start until Dec. 9. They went on pause again during conference play, coincidentally after losing to Gonzaga, 90-62, on Jan. 28. They just played their first game in weeks against the Santa Clara Broncos, a win.
For the first 10 minutes on Jan. 28, the Toreros looked like a lot of WCC teams. They set the pace and bullied Gonzaga around. A spectacle-wearing junior by the name of Finn Sullivan lit up from the outside, hitting four threes for a season high 16 points.
But then Gonzaga took over, as the Zags always do. For a stretch, the Zags seemed to struggle coming out of the gates and taking anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes to figure out they are, in fact, one of the best teams in the nation and should be winning by 20-plus points. Most scores finally end up around there.
But over the past couple of games? The Zags’ defensive intensity has been apparent from the outset. Just ask the San Francisco Dons or the Saint Mary’s Gaels, two teams who witnessed what it is like to face the Gonzaga Bulldogs running on all cylinders, on both ends of the floor.
This game went from just a random game in the schedule, to senior night, back to another random game on the schedule. The Zags are three conference games away from an undefeated run through the regular season. Let’s relish these games.