Picking the Field: NCAA Tournament Predictions – And Yes, I Have Gonzaga Winning it All

Last year I wrote a terribly long essay on my NCAA “Picks to Clicks.” (In hindsight, that title is grammatically screwed up. Alas what a year of writing can do for you’re grammer skills.)

This year I won’t bore you with the reasons why Notre Dame will beat Iowa State (Notre Dame wins the game by the way) or why Louisville will beat Western Kentucky (see Sheen, Charlie: Um… Duhhh.) But I will share most of my latter tournament predictions and such. Which will all end with Gonzaga cutting down the nets in Atlanta.

These are my non-chalk picks in the first round, or the round after 60 teams get a “bye”- Continue reading

Gonzaga’s 5-0 Record Against the Big 12 Keeps Looking Better, Plus Justifying the Zags as a Number-One Seed in the Tourney

Gonzaga has a 5-0 record against the Big 12 this year. They have beaten West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Baylor and Oklahoma State (in the order) by an average of 18 points. When these teams played GU, only one was ranked, that was Oklahoma State who was sitting at number 22 in the polls. However, a quick look at the polls as of the 10th of this month sees both Kansas State and Oklahoma State in the top 15 of both polls.

At the time, I’ll be honest, I thought that each win would be a win that was shoved towards the back of the “quality wins” sentence that telecasts provide. But alas, here we sit with K-State, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma considered higher quality wins.

(Oklahoma is still likely in the field despite losing to TCU. Yes, the same TCU that has 16 conference losses and managed a paltry 31 points against a slightly-better-than-paltry Northwestern team.)

People say that Gonzaga shouldn’t be number one, or even get a one seed in the NCAA tournament because of the weak competition they play. While the WCC is no Big 10, it certainly isn’t as bad as it is made out to be. Continue reading

Some Quick Hits on Reaffirming the Fact that Gonzaga is the Best Team in the State of Washington (Also Maybe the Country…)

Washington’s big three of basketball schools, Gonzaga, the University of Washington and Washington State University, have all had a good deal of success in the past decade. Each has made it to the Sweet Sixteen while producing numerous pro players.

It should be noted that historically, and in general, UW and WSU are good programs. But this year has been a down year for them both.

  • GU has one more win (27) than UW (15) and WSU (11) combined.
  • Gonzaga’s RPI is 10th in the country, Washington is 74th and WSU chimes in with a resounding thud at 184th. Yikes.
  • The Zags BPI (or Basketball Power Index) per ESPN.com is fifth in the country. U of W comes in at 72nd, and Wazzu rounds out the group again at number 99.
  • Gonzaga has the same number of conference wins in the month of February than the Huskies do all season.
  • Gonzaga has more conference wins in the last ten days than WSU has all year. (It’s apples to oranges when you compare the WCC with the Pac 12, but the leagues are pretty even against each other by my count, with the WCC taking three scalps to the Pac 12’s four.) Continue reading