It’s been over a decade since the Gonzaga Bulldogs came storming onto the College Basketball scene with their amazing Elite 8 run in 1999. The original Cinderella, coached by Dan Monson and later taken over by current Gonzaga coach Mark Few, the Zags have now been dubbed “America’s Team” and are a perennial powerhouse.
Although Gonzaga has been a force in college basketball over the last decade and arguably the most consistent west coast basketball team, they have yet to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament since Quentin Hall led the 1999 march. This year however, many pundits are anointing the Bulldogs from Spokane as one who could potentially usurp the Gonzaga teams of old and make a Final Four push in April.
So far this season, Gonzaga has performed well on the basketball floor and has only one loss to a very good Illinois basketball team. They’ve traveled around the country, playing at different venues, and have been especially dominant in competition against the Big 12 conference. From a diversity standpoint, Gonzaga has all the makings of a championship basketball team. They have great guard play, athletic wingmen who can attack the basketball and defend, and very skilled bigs who play disciplined.
As the season progresses, I look for Coach Mark Few to solidify his rotation, win the WCC Tournament in Las Vegas, and hope that his team develops the mental toughness for a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. If the Zags are able to secure great seeding in the tournament, they could position themselves to have their best season in school history and potentially find themselves in the Final Four.
Should we expect Gonzaga to be a legitimate Final Four contender? Absolutely.