Could Gonzaga Bulldogs be First Ever No. 1 Seed to Lose to No.16 Seed?

By Connor Muldowney
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

It is a topic that is sure to be debated throughout the week entering the game between the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Southern University Jaguars. Until Thursday night, many people will be talking about the possibility of the No. 1 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs being upset in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Sure, the Bulldogs are one of the best teams in the tournament and finished the seasons as the No. 1 team in the country. However, they may be the weakest of the No. 1  seeds and maybe one of the weakest top seeds of all-time.

Gonzaga may be one of the top offensive teams in the country, but are one of the least tested teams of those top teams. The Bulldogs played just three ranked teams all season long and finished 1-2 in those games, including an 11-point loss at home to Illinois.

Mark Few may be one of the most underrated coaches in the country, but he also has never taken his team to the Final Four and also never coached a Gonzaga team to a No. 1 seed prior to this season.

The pressures of being a top seed are immense and could be overpowering for a team that has never had the opportunity to be in that pressure-filled situation. Few will count on Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris to help him avoid history.

I know, the Jaguars aren’t exactly the most talented No. 16 team ever, but after starting the season 1-5 and finishing the season with a 23-9 record, their positive momentum could carry into their match-up with the ‘Zags. Also, in their 17 conference wins this season, including the conference tournament, they won by an average of 17 points.

There may not be a better No. 1 vs. No. 16 match-up in terms of chance of upset in tournament history. I’m not saying an upset will happen, but it’s a definite possibility. Derick Beltran and Malcolm Miller are hoping to make sure history happens on Thursday afternoon.

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