The Gonzaga Bulldogs improved to 22-2 on the season and a perfect 9-0 in West Coast Conference play last night with a dominant 82-56 win over the Pepperdine Waves. The statement win gets the Zags back on track after a scare against the San Diego Toreros and puts them on pace to have their best season in program history.
It’s widely been argued that this group is the most talented Gonzaga team ever, and the one who could finally get Mark Few into a Final Four. The talent has been unquestioned, but now they’re in a position to go down in the history books as the best team Gonzaga has ever had.
They’re chasing the mark set by the 2003-2004 team that started the season 28-2 before falling in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. That team only lost two games the entire regular season, both to nationally ranked opponents, and earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament and rose as high as No. 3 in the AP poll.
This year’s team, currently rated No. 6 in the AP poll and poised to break into the top five any day now, with seven regular season games left could finish at 29-2 heading into the WCC Tournament. That would tie them for most wins in a season with the 2005-2006 team that went to the Sweet Sixteen.
A win in the conference tournament would give this squad the first 30-win season in Gonzaga’s history and the record for wins in a season. Two wins would get them another conference tournament title, an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, and a .939 winning percentage, besting the previous record of the 2003-2004 Bulldogs, who finished the season with a .931 winning percentage.
This team, however, will mark the success of this season by their run in March. They have the talent to finally break through to the Final Four for the first time in the program’s history. On their way, however, look for this crop of Zags to make their mark on the school’s history books with the best regular season of any basketball team they’ve ever had.