Gonzaga Basketball Is No. 1 In AP Top 25
Gonzaga is No.1 in the AP Top 25 College Basketball Rankings, having the best record in Division I at 29-2. Located in Spokane, Washington, the Bulldogs have dominated the West Coast Conference. With wins over BYU and Portland last week, Gonzaga is now a perfect 16-0 in the conference.
The Bulldogs only two losses came against Illinois at home in early December and at Butler in January. Gonzaga beat West Virginia early in the season and have also taken down both Oklahoma and Oklahoma St. If that isn’t enough, the Bulldogs also beat Clemson in a low scoring affair and Baylor in a high scoring game.
Gonzaga next plays in the West Coast Conference Championships on March 9 and are expected to continue winning into the NCAA tournament. Head Coach Mark Few has the highest winning percentage among active coaches with at least five years experience at 80 percent.
The best start in team history, Gonzaga is practically guaranteed their 15th straight NCAA tournament appearance with their No. 1 ranking. The team is led by forward Kelly Olynyk who is averaging 17.7 points and seven rebounds a game.
Elias Harris leads the team in rebounding, just ahead of Olynyk at 7.5 a game and is also second is scoring. The only other player averaging double figures is guard Kevin Pangos at 11.7 a game. Pangos is also the only player to start in every game.
College basketball has seen five different teams hold the top spot this season, as Indiana fell to number two followed by Duke. Both Kansas and Georgetown gained two spots rounding out the top five. Virginia Commonwealth returned to the Top 25, along with UCLA while Butler and Louisiana Tech dropped out.
The upcoming conference tournaments are the most critical points of the season for teams all over the nation. Everyone is looking for a way into the NCAA tournament, which can happen simply by winning your conference tournament. Bubble teams like North Carolina and Kentucky, which by the way are never bubble teams, must perform well early in their respective tournaments.
Win or lose, there is no way of telling what will happen before the bracket is announced. As of right now, teams like Kansas, Florida, Louisville, Miami, and Duke are all locks for the tourney. Gonzaga is No.1 and I don’t believe anyone expects them to lose a game at the West Coast Conference tournament.
If that stands, I find it hard for the NCAA to make anyone else but them the overall No. 1 seed in the tourney. Whether the Bulldogs are greeted with the overall No.1 or not, you can be sure they will be a tough team to beat.