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Weekly Zag Briefing

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NCAA Basketball: St. Mary’s at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Gonzaga is back at the top spot, and to commemorate it, I have to share the brilliant tweet below from our friend Darnay Tripp. Hopefully, most of you are familiar with the Brian McKnight song or else you’ll be very confused.

  • With the NCAA Tournament only a month away, it’s time to start sifting out the Contenders from the Pretenders. SI’s Kevin Sweeney identified his “Magic Eight” Contenders, with Gonzaga rightfully at the top of his list as “the sport’s most consistently dominant program of late.” Gonzaga is joined in Sweeney’s grouping by Auburn, Arizona, Kentucky, Baylor, Duke, Texas Tech, and Ohio State. I’m curious to see what you all think in the comments section.
  • While serving Farnham Flatbreads over at The Davenport on Friday night in an effort to raise funds for Coaches vs Cancer, Sean Farnham told The Spokesman-Review that Gonzaga is the new Duke. That take aside, major props to Farnham for his efforts in the battle against cancer. If you’d like to donate to the cause, you can do so via this link.
  • Oumar Ballo has carved out a good role for himself at Arizona, and it’s nice to see that he’s grabbed his opportunity there after following Tommy Lloyd to the desert.
  • It’s that time of year when Seth Davis gets hot takes from anonymous coaches around the country on some of the nation’s top teams. Surprisingly, I thought the comments about Gonzaga were mostly fair, with the opinion that this group is closer to a national championship than last year’s team simply because of Chet Holmgren’s presence, though the anonymous coach thinks this year’s guard group isn’t as good as last year’s squad. Timme got some jabs for his lack of a defensive presence, though I think he has been better at that end of the floor this year.
  • I really enjoyed this piece (ESPN+ locked) from Jeff Borzello detailing the recruiting trails that each of the Wooden Award finalists traveled to get to their current schools. There are some interesting stories highlighted for some non-Zags, and offers a reminder of who was in on Holmgren and Timme before they made their final decisions to go to Gonzaga.
  • David Stockton was named to the U.S. Men’s World Cup qualifying team along with Joe Johnson, Jordan Bell, and an interesting collection of players. I’m not quite sure what to make of this roster...