Is Gonzaga a 1? Not Yet…January 27: 1-68

After a slew of losses this week, the talk has turned to Duke West (yes, that’s how we refer to Gonzaga in these parts) being next week’s #1 team.  While I certainly don’t believe that they are the #1 team in the country, they do hold the claim as the last undefeated.  Sure, they have what seem to be some good wins over Arizona (without Trier), Florida and Iowa State (both currently unranked).

BUT, Duke West has some serious flaws in their resume.  First, they have yet to play a team on the road inside the RPI Top 100.  If they beat St. Mary’s on the road on Feb. 11, then we can talk.

Second, they have seven Top 100 wins currently.  How many other teams have at least seven Top 100 wins?  TWENTY-FIVE!

Third, look at the teams ahead of Duke West.  On a neutral floor, who would you take?  Yes, I know I have Arizona really high. Remember, they didn’t have Trier when Duke West barely beat them.

Fourth, and most importantly, wouldn’t you think that Duke West would go out and REALLY challenge themselves knowing that they play in a terrible conference?  Their non-conference strength of schedule is 50.  Decent, but not #1 seed worthy right now.

Here’s how 1-68 line up going into a lackluster weekend slate.

1 Seeds

1. Baylor – They have rebounded nicely after the 29 turnover fiasco against WVU.
2. Villanova – When you look at your schedule to see who is next after losing to Marquette and see Virginia…

no

3. Kansas – This may still be a little high, but everyone else keeps losing too.
4. Arizona – Too high?  Nope.

2 Seeds

5. Kentucky – Somewhat surprised that they lost to someone in the SEC not named Florida.  Kansas may be in a world of hurt tomorrow.
6. UNC – Since the ACC opening loss to Georgia Tech, the Heels have looked dominant.
7. Oregon – I almost dropped them 10 slots because of this…

8. Florida State – Sure, they just got their brains beat in by Georgia Tech.  Let’s call that one a letdown after playing six straight ranked teams.

who-did-negan-kill-walking-dead

Georgia Tech, featuring Negan.

3 Seeds

9. Gonzaga – See above.
10. Butler – Lead the country with 14 Top 100 wins.  They also lost to Indiana St. and St. John’s. HOW?
11. Virginia – %&$* Tony Bennett and his ability to castrate Notre Dame.
12. Louisville – Hope you had the Cards and the points against Pitt.  What a beating.

4 Seeds

13. West Virginia – They may need to cool it with these big home wins…

west-virginia-burning-couch

14. UCLA – Well, maybe they are the Houston Rockets of college basketball…not Golden State.
15. Purdue – If I were a Purdue season-ticket holder, I’d probably utter “Give the ball to Swanigan” at least 50 times a game.
16. Notre Dame – GT beats FSU by 22. ND gets crushed by Virginia.  ND plays GT tomorrow.  I like our chances.

5 Seeds

17. Wisconsin – They may be the same team as Notre Dame.
18. Cincinnati – One of our few followers on Twitter (a Bearcats fan) commented that a so-called expert thinks their ceiling is a 4 seed even if they win out.  That’s just completely absurd.  Duke West has seven Top 100 wins.  Cincinnati…eight.
19. Maryland – It starts to get real for the Terps now…at Minn, at OSU and Purdue coming up.
20. Duke – Coach K took away their ability to wear Duke clothing after the loss to NC State.  I’d gain a little respect for him if he took the “Duke” off their jerseys on Saturday at Wake.  Here’s how I feel about their struggles…

swansondance.gif

6 Seeds

21. SMU – Sunday, Feb. 12.  Cincy at SMU.  Must see TV.
22. St. Mary’s – If they lose to Duke West two more times, will they be back on the bubble?  The win at Dayton is going to help them immensely.
23. S. Carolina – PJ Dozier is back after missing the Kentucky game due to injuries sustained running one of Frank Martin’s “errands.”
24. Creighton – Things certainly aren’t going well after losing Watson.

7 Seeds

25. Northwestern – We get it, a lot of you journalists went to Northwestern and are happy they are going to make the tournament.  Don’t collapse…
26. Florida – This year’s favorite team of the computers.  When you see them higher elsewhere, remember that they lost at home to Vanderbilt.
27. Marquette – Pretty impressive week for (vomit) Wojo’s guys.

0323_duke_ky

I just needed to find a funny Wojo flop picture.

28. Virginia Tech – After BC on Sunday, the Hokies have a 5-game gauntlet to get through.

8 Seeds

29. Xavier – Impressive performance by Bluiett against Cincy, but they have to start winning basketball games.
30. Michigan – Beating IU by 30, and the lack of quality in the bottom half of the at-large pool, moves you up fast.
31. USC – The latest team to take advantage of UCLA’s Ole! defense.
32. VCU – I still don’t know how they lost to Fordham.

9 Seeds

33. Dayton – Tough one for Mike’s Flyers after they looked like world beaters early against VCU.  They’ll be fine.  Game shifted when Scoochie Smith picked up his 2nd foul with the Flyers up eight in the first half.
34. Minnesota – Well, maybe the Gophers are the computer’s favorite son.  3-5 in conference, and RPI #20.
35. Indiana – What on Earth was that performance in Ann Arbor last night?  The Hoosiers really should be much better than they are (even without O.G.).
36. Iowa State – With all that is going on with the Bulls, do you think they’d take Fred Hoiberg back?

10 Seeds

37. Middle Tennessee State – Louisiana Tech comes to town Saturday.  They may be rested…

38. Illinois State – Still undefeated in the MVC.  Redbirds are at Wichita next Saturday.
39. Arkansas – Hogs are at Okie State tomorrow in the Big 12/SEC challenge.
40. Kansas State – Two Top 100 wins, and a 250+ non-conference SOS.  Work to do.

11 Seeds

41. Michigan State – I don’t even know if they deserve to be in here.  Still believe the run is coming.  Trust in Izzo. #Trizzo?
42. UNC Wilmington – Second team to 20 wins.
43. TCU – They’ll have a chance to get in with a solid SOS (33).
44. Georgia Tech – With the quality of some of these teams, if you win at VCU and beat UNC and FSU convincingly, you’re in right now.

12 Seeds

45. Wake Forest – Eye test addition, even though 0-7 against the Top 50.  Let’s see how they do against Dook tomorrow.
46. NC State – Speaking of beating Dook…

47. Utah – You won’t find these guys in other brackets because they have 1 Top 100 win.  I get it, but you won’t see Pitt or Clemson in until they start winning some damn games.
48. Texas Tech – They dropped to the final at-large spot due to their abysmal 340th ranked SOS.

THE REST

49. Nevada
50. UT-Arlington

13 Seeds

51. Monmouth
52. Akron
53. Princeton
54. Valparaiso

14 Seeds

55. New Mexico St.
56. Vermont
57. Chattanooga
58. Belmont

15 Seeds

59. Florida Gulf Coast
60. Winthrop
61. Bucknell
62. N. Dakota St.

16 Seeds

63. UC Irvine
64. Texas Southern
65. Weber State
66. NC Central
67. Sam Houston St.
68. LIU Brooklyn

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6 responses to “Is Gonzaga a 1? Not Yet…January 27: 1-68

  1. I’ve looked through your site, mostly because of your mention on the Bracket Matrix. I think your projections look pretty solid, other than your complete disregard of Gonzaga. Not liking them is one thing, but putting them on the 3 line is plain disrespect at this point. Yes, “Duke West” does only have seven Top 100 RPI victories, mostly because their conference doesn’t have built-in quality teams like power conferences do, but they still have a plethora of Top 50 wins at the moment (6). Which, at the moment, matches Kansas, a 1 seed in your bracket. And if you want to argue that they don’t have any Top 100 road victories, well, they do. Yes, they do only have one at the moment, however it’s not like they haven’t traveled to play quality games away from home. FOUR of those Top 50 wins have come far away from home. Try Florida in Orlando, Arizona in LA, Iowa State in Orlando, and Tennessee in Nashville. The other two were against Saint Mary’s and Akron, both very quality teams at 19-2 and 18-3 and either ranked or receiving votes in the AP poll. So with Arizona, Florida, Iowa State, and Tennessee all away from home in the non-conference, how can you say with a straight face that they didn’t challenge themselves in the non-conference schedule? Oh, and way to discredit the win against Arizona by giving the Trier excuse. Did you actually watch the dam game like an actual expert would? Or did you just look at the final score and assume that the game was actually close? Let me tell you, that game was never really in doubt. Gonzaga led by double digits for 35 minutes, and Arizona made a tough comeback to lose by only 7. Sure, PJC and Trier could’ve made a difference, but I don’t think that difference would’ve been very large since Gonzaga shut down the best players that the Cats had to offer that night, and the frontcourt was owned all night long by Przemek Karnowski. So no, stop with the bullshit, this years edition of Gonzaga is a very good ball club. I don’t care if you project them as a 1 or 16, but at least show some respect for the quality of this team.

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    • Never said they weren’t a very good team. NWG is a stud, and they are much better than they were at any time with Wiltjer, who was as overrated as they come. They’re 22-0…no matter what the schedule, that’s tough to do. Yeah, I don’t like them at all, but it had absolutely nothing to do with their ranking.

      Playing teams in their own building is completely different than at a neutral site. That was the criticism of the non-conference slate, and I think it’s a fair one, especially because they ONLY have three tough conference games (SMC, at SMC, at BYU). Winning in Nashville is not a road win…it is almost three hours from Knoxville and is completely different than playing on the Vols’ home floor.

      I actually did watch the Gonzaga/Arizona game, and I don’t think as a Zags fan you should point to that one as a defining win. Gonzaga didn’t play well. Arizona really struggled offensively (partly because Gonzaga has a solid defense)…but mainly because they were without Trier and their PG. Simmons was atrocious, and has steadily improved. I think it is certainly a reasonable opinion to have that Arizona beats them on a neutral floor if they play again.

      Regardless, thanks for reading…and you’ll be happy to know that they are up to #5 in the 1-68.

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      • Well, thank you for your response. it just seemed that you were a little critical of their resume, as I do think it is a pretty solid one to be undefeated against. And yes, as I fan I was pretty disappointed in the pre-season to see that the Zags hadn’t scheduled any true road games against anybody in the non-conference, but I thought the neutral site wins were enough to make up for it, as those are the games that will help to prepare them for March. And no, the Zags didn’t play their best ball against Arizona, but for all the talk about Trier and PJC being out for that game, (which believe me, I was disappointed not to have them at their best so my Zags could prove a point) there seems to be no talk of how the Zags have went 22-0 on the season thus far with practically 5 new players in the lineup (6 if you count Karnowski returning from back surgery) and how they’ve done a masterful job of gelling, and i don’t think they’ve completely gelled yet. Therefore, I do fear an Arizona team with Trier and PJC, as they look as good as anybody. However, I also think it is reasonable to think that both teams have got better since that game( Although it is always hard to tell with Gonzaga in a weaker conference), and that it would be a very good game. Nevertheless, I apologize if my original post was a little critical, I was pretty happy of my team’s accomplishment today only for it to be met with the typical disrespect they always seem to get, so I was a kind of at a boiling point when I reached your site only to see more of the same. So once again, I’m sorry and I will continue to look at your site, as I thought your bracketology was as good as anyone has come up with at this point. And one question, why do you not like the Zags? The catholic schools have to stick together haha.

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      • No need for the apology. Sports banter is supposed to be a little edgy.

        I think it started with Neil Everett calling them “America’s Team.” But mostly, just a parade of players that I didn’t care for, probably starting with Morrison and ramping up recently with Wiltjer.

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  2. Ah, I understand. Morrison was a fantastic player,but I can easily see how he wouldn’t be liked nationally. Wiltjer was an amazing shooter and scorer, but he was porous on the defensive end. And no, Gonzaga is not America’s team when we have so many haters haha.

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  3. I will add my two cents about the Zags. Many, including here, have made the argument that GU beat Arizona without Trier, implying that with Trier GU would have lost. Did the people making the comment actually see the game. It not as close as the final score indicated. GU held a 12-15 point through most of the game and Arizona only drew close when the Zags missed free throws. Also, the guy that did the most damage was Karno, GU tinkle toe 300 lbs 7 footer who passes like PG. Arizona had no answer for him as Miller doesn’t believe in the double team (though as good a passer he is… double at your own risk). He had 18 pts, on 9-13 shooting. Trier is a great player, no doubt, but those making the argument that GU would have lost if Trier played have to answer how a 6″5′ 200 lbs wing would stop Karno. If was the GU Bigs that dominated Arizona.

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