Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Yes, Virginia, Gonzaga is overrated

Last night they snuck by, uh ... Loyola Marymount, 68-67 to "win" the West Coast "Conference" tournament. On their home floor. That means in their last three games, Gonzaga has beaten San Francisco (RPI: 178) 75-72, San Diego (RPI: 156) 96-92 in overtime, and LMU (RPI: 165) 68-67, all on their own home court. If anybody but Gonzaga was squeaking by teams of that caliber this late in the year, there'd be MAJOR talk about that team falling in the tournament seeding.

But everyone wants to think the Bulldogs are good, so they come up with some crap along the lines of "well, they get every opponent's best shot." Well, that's just wonderful. As Ken Pomeroy said of this line of thinking:
As Gonzaga repeatedly struggles to put away the lesser competition in the WCC,
analysts with high expectations for them excuse their performance with the "best
shot" theory. But if you buy this line of reasoning, I’d say you’re on shaky
ground, because what are Gonzaga's opponents - of better quality - going to give
them in March? I would say their "best shot." And if you believe that Gonzaga
will succeed against the better opponents' best shot, you must then believe that
Gonzaga themselves is not giving it their best shot in a few of these WCC games.
And is that really an admirable quality for a team to have?

I would venture to say ... no. But, as I said, people really want to believe in this team, and they all want to grow ugly baby-hair mustaches, and they just love the squad, even though the Bulldogs' marquee win is over a Michigan State team that finished sixth in the Big Ten, and they have eight (EIGHT!) wins of 4 points or less over teams that WILL NOT MAKE THE TOURNAMENT THIS YEAR.

Remember, people: Gonzaga hasn't made it out of the second round since Dan Dickau was a junior. This team is no different. Even if you believe the hype about their amazing "talent," and you think they've been legitimately slacking ever since conference play started, do you think they can just "turn it on," against significantly better competition, once they reach the tournament?


At 12:33 PM, March 07, 2006, Blogger Nipsey said...

Dammit Jack. Keep a lid on this.

I'm hoping people don't realize any of this and I'll have a decided advantage when I pick the Zags to lose in the first round to Belmont.

Actually I just saw someone (forget where) before the game last night say Gonzaga was their 4th #1 seed. I laughed. There are some really stupid people out there.


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