The days between games during the NCAA Tournament are so brutal, particularly at the front end of the competition. We’re gifted with loads of games to distract us over four days, and then have to fight withdrawal over the next four days. It’s tough to come off the high of non-stop basketball action with nothing to fill the void except referendums on the teams (or conferences, looking at you Big 10 and Big 12) that disappointed over the first weekend and looking ahead to the Sweet 16 and Elite 8, but that’s all we can do for now. Here’s what’s on tap this week:
- Dana O’Neil wrote a nice piece for The Athletic that shares a perspective of what taking in this Tournament has been like for the Gonzaga parents. It’s easy for us, as fans, to forget how for some the Zags are still just kids since our perspective of them is as basketball players. Little nuggets like Megan Timme asking Drew who his best friends are on the team (his answer: everyone!) is such a normal parent-child exchange and serves as a nice reminder that at the end of the day, these players are just young people making lifelong memories with their friends.
- Sports Illustrated ranks the Sweet 16 teams with the Zags comfortably at No. 1 after a convincing opening weekend, while Ricky O’Donnell does the same over at the mothership.
- Greg Bishop details how Gonzaga has turned Mondays into perhaps the most significant day of the week over the last three seasons, and maybe the key to the program’s success. “Personal Growth Mondays,” as they are called, emphasize mental performance training and seeing how connected this group is and how good they are at problem solving together during games suggests this has been working for them.
- Adam Morrison spoke with SI’s Robin Lundberg to break down his scouting report of Gonzaga’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Adam Zagoria writes that the Zags are every bit as potent as advertised in his takeaways of the first weekend of the tournament for The New York Times.
- John Jakus and Stephen Gentry, currently assistants over at Baylor and Illinois respectively, credit their time at Gonzaga as instrumental in their basketball educations.
- Seth Davis poses one question that may trouble each team left in the tournament, with his concern for the Zags being the adequacy of the depth if one of the seven guys in Mark Few’s tight rotation gets injured or mired in foul trouble.