A Saturday night stunner in Spokane will resonate by a weekend, shake adult Monday’s polls and have definite impact on a mettle of college basketball immediately.
The biggest story in sports now is Gonzaga removing got in a towering approach that nobody predicted. The outcome no one saw entrance incited true, out of a blue: Gonzaga lost. Gonzaga mislaid at home … by 8 points. The Bulldogs, ranked No. 1 in a nation’s polls and placed above all others by each supposed vital metric ranking system, had their dream of an undefeated deteriorate disappear in intolerable fashion, as a they were felled 79-71 to a BYU organisation that had spent many of this deteriorate being an underachiever.
So it’s 29-1, not 30-0. It’s great, not perfect. It’s so unequivocally college basketball to have things turn like this.
Going 29-1 is tremendous, yet nonetheless it is a one-game difference, a idea, a existence, a existence of 29-1 vs. 30-0 is a bequest apart. Gonzaga’s story is not nonetheless done, yet what transpired on Saturday night will be a vital partial of this deteriorate no matter how it ends for Mark Few’s team. Whether it loses in a initial turn of a NCAA contest or goes on to win a inhabitant title, a improved during a hands of an NIT-bound BYU organisation will be where Gonzaga’s story pivots. All a H2O curls from this delta.
To remove in your final unchanging deteriorate game, it’s maddening, finished even some-more befuddling by a fact that Gonzaga was a 20.5-point favorite. The Bulldogs had no business even being in a tighten game, deliberation they hadn’t played a tighten diversion in some-more than dual months. How opposite was this game? Mark Few got a technical tainted as a second half played itself to uncertainty.
Gonzaga managed to remove after opening adult with an 18-2 advantage during a start of a game. What? At a start, it seemed like it was going to be a strut to a end. Then BYU leaned in and forced Gonzaga to play with adroitness, yet instead GU tripped. BYU’s Eric Mika picked this diversion to be a best of his career so far, going for 29 points and 11 rebounds. Saturday night was a initial time Gonzaga faced a second-half necessity in 15 games. Some Bulldogs fans were wondering if GU indispensable a quarrel before Mar in sequence to stay fresh. Well, sure, maybe Gonzaga indispensable to be punched. BYU bloodied a knuckles before dropping GU to a canvas.
Gonzaga will not be 30-0, it will not perpetually be determined in college basketball’s record books as one of a propitious few to run a regular-season table. BYU waited until a final regular-season diversion to peep a potential. The was a Cougars organisation that many suspicion would overcome many of a season, a organisation that should have been in a review for easy at-large consideration.
If we wish to spin that this kind of detriment takes a vigour off Gonzaga, go ahead, yet we don’t buy it given we don’t consider Gonzaga was going to be feeling pressure. we don’t consider Few worries about that, and if anything, there is no manager connected improved to take a detriment like this than Few. we do consider carrying a tighten diversion functions as a profitable tune-up for postseason play. That’s what matters most. Gonzaga could have some glow underneath a tuccus in a WCCs, yet I’m of a faith Gonzaga was/is doomed to hurl by a joining contest anyway.
Also, for those silly about this loss, and we know you’re reading this right now, a sign that Gonzaga is still projected as a 1 seed. The Bulldogs can’t means to remove another diversion yet dropping off a tip line, yet during 29-1, it’s still good adequate to be in a tip foursome. Will Gonzaga stay there? The Pac-12 tournament, Villanova’s finish and whatever North Carolina does or doesn’t do will eventually confirm that.
When Wichita State warranted a No. 1 seed in 2014 after going undefeated in a unchanging deteriorate and alighting during 34-0 for a start of a NCAA Tournament, we was flattering certain we were witnessing something that wouldn’t occur again for a prolonged time.
It wasn’t usually that a organisation from a smaller joining like a Missouri Valley owned both a “0” in a detriment mainstay and a “1” subsequent to a name on Selection Sunday. The Shockers were some-more than binary; they were a best and many tenable story from that season. Wichita State went mainstream given a undefeated run came directly following that warn Final Four coming in 2013.
The flawless operation dovetailed with an anniversary, too. It had been accurately 10 years given college basketball had a organisation in men’s Division we not remove a unchanging deteriorate diversion (Saint Joseph’s in 2003-04). we enjoyed that Wichita State story given who knew when we’d get another undefeated organisation in college basketball?
You know how that went. In a vast cadence of coincidence, a Kentucky Wildcats — follow me here: UK separated undefeated Wichita State from a NCAAs a year after a Shockers finished a usually Final Four of a before 5 seasons that ironically didn’t include UK — went on a run of prevalence that stacks adult with a best regular-season campaigns ever.
The widespread flame was unknowingly upheld from one organisation to a next. No one could have seen then, when UK kick WSU in one of a best NCAA Tournament games of a past 10 years, that Gregg Marshall’s propitious dirt would massage off so good on John Calipari.
That Wildcats organisation binds a record for potency domain in a KenPom era, definition it was some-more widespread on a statistical basement than any other organisation given 2002. UK got to a Selection Sunday yet a detriment of course, afterwards reached a Final Four. Ultimately, a biggest carrot in college sports was left swinging as UK was felled by a maestro Wisconsin team.
Amazing, though. College hoops was graced with dual uninterrupted undefeated teams in a NCAA tournament. And we roughly got it again. Gonzaga teased college hoops, until 9:22 internal time on Saturday night, with a awaiting of a third widespread organisation in 4 seasons.
This competence good — still — be best organisation in college basketball. Gonzaga will arise adult on Sunday as a top-rated organisation in many a metric, and in fact their potency domain is second best in a KenPom epoch to usually Kentucky of dual years ago. So if you’ve found yourself adverse Gonzaga’s joining or downplaying what they’ve done, we wonder, would we rather college hoops have no widespread organisation streamer into March? If so, why? Love them or hatred them, undefeated Gonzaga would have been a vital story, something to boost seductiveness and emanate inestimable dialogue. This roughly worked out — joke dictated — ideally for college hoops.
In losing a approach it did, Gonzaga repelled a existence behind to form. Having undefeated teams in a complicated era, it’s unequivocally hard. When we get them, it’s luck. Gonzaga was a ideal organisation to do it, too. Never finished a Final Four, and now a run like this usually brings a hint of a module to be hoisted adult for us pundits and we fans to applaud or denigrate.
If you’ve been hellbent on slandering Gonzaga or dismissing Mark Few’s organisation as a inhabitant pretension contender, you’ve missed a point. College football is a usually other vital American foe that frequently gets undefeated teams, and even afterwards we have programs like Western Michigan who don’t even have a shot during a pretension when they run a table. Alabama goes widespread before to playoff play and it hardly satiates a expectations of that fan base. With one-third a foe inventory, going undefeated in a unchanging deteriorate isn’t scarcely as considerable in football as it is in hoops.
It competence be a decade before we see another organisation strech Feb. 25 yet a loss, or maybe it happens subsequent year. Either way, this was roughly really Mark Few’s usually shot to do it.
Now a Bulldogs have to regroup for their joining tournament. Let’s remember that this organisation still rates as a best in college basketball, and one detriment usually changes dual things for Gonzaga: The No. 1 altogether seed is now off a table, and immortality is as well. Everything else is still there. Losing a diversion doesn’t meant Gonzaga should be taken any reduction severely as a pretension contender. If anything,they were never going to win it yet during slightest a detriment anyway.