5 Reasons Gonzaga Deserves #1 Seed
Gonzaga Deserves #1 Seed
The newest AP Poll has an unfamiliar name atop it. The Gonzaga Bulldogs are arguably the most surprising team of this season. They are undefeated in their conference with a perfect 16-0 record. They haven’t lost a game since January 19th. They have a top player in the country in Kelly Olynyk. Everything on paper says that they deserve the seed they have.
Despite all the compelling facts, many folks refuse to accept a mid-major atop of the charts. Many people are going to look at the Bulldogs' schedule and say anyone can go 29-2 with that weak of a schedule. While this isn’t true, it isn’t entirely false. I reckon if Indiana had this schedule, they could very well be undefeated. The difference is Indiana is going to get big name recruits a lot easier than Gonzaga is going to be able to.
What Gonzaga has done is not throw together a few highly ranked recruits, but what they did was put together a team. They strung together the best talent they could, and they established a coach that knows the game of basketball at a high level. It is amazing how an NBA-like way to build a successful team is working for a college basketball team. It could very well be the way for mid-majors to be successful in the future.
So the true question is whether they deserve the ranking or not. The answer is yes; they deserve the top spot. I am going to take you through five reasons why the Gonzaga Bulldogs deserve the ranking.
Reason #1: They have an All-American player in Kelly Olynyk
If you haven’t seen this kid play, you’re missing out. To say the least, he is a very special player. He could very well end up winning the Wooden Award. He is downright leading this Gonzaga squad. He stands at 7’ 0” which is an automatic advantage on the court. His height is an advantage, but so is his scoring ability. He averages 17.7 points per game and seven rebounds per game. This man is a freak, and is going to be a very good NBA player.
Reason #2: They have taken care of business.
It is easy to make the argument that Gonzaga has had a very weak schedule which translated into easy victories and their great record. That is true, but you still have to win the games. Just look at how many teams haven’t taken care of business. Four out of five of Indiana’s losses have come against unranked teams at the time they played them. The fact of the matter is Gonzaga has taken care of its business, and not a lot of other teams can say that.
Reason #3: They don’t lose.
Gonzaga hasn’t lost since January 19th against ranked Butler. In order for Butler to win that game, they had to make a buzzer-beating shot. That game was not the ‘Zags' best of the season. They only shot .286 from beyond the arc, which will not win you many games. Take that one point loss out of the equation, and you are looking at a one loss team who hadn’t lost since December 8th.
Reason #4: This Gonzaga team plays like a team.
If you look at this team’s statistical leaders you’ll see almost a different leader for each category. Olynyk takes the scoring crown as well as the most blocks, Elias Harris leads in rebounds, David Stockton leads in steals, and Kevin Pangos has the most assists. This shows that this team knows its responsibilities and is willing to do whatever it takes to win.
Reason #5: They can shoot lights out.
The simplest way to tell a person how to win is by telling them to make more shots than their opponent. This is what Mark Few has seemingly told his team. Gonzaga is number three in the nation in field goal percentage, shooting .505 on the year. This number is incredible. It is one thing to make shots, but they are scoring in the top ten also. 78.4 points per game makes any defense’s knees tremble a little bit.