Did you know Gonzaga is unbeaten with wins over Iowa, Virginia and Kansas? Did you know that the Zags’ eight wins over West Coast Conference opponents has come by an average of 25.4 points? And did you know most people in college basketball suspect it might stay this way — and that Gonzaga will run the table?
You may know all that already, but the fact you may not makes Gonzaga the best-kept top-ranked secret in a long, long time.
The Zags (17-0) throttled WCC opponent Pepperdine on Saturday night, which again, was no surprise (they’ve beaten the Waves 41 straight times now). Also, Gonzaga has turned itself into a regular NCAA Final Four contender despite not playing in a “power” conference. But this may be coach Mark Few’s best squad yet — and he’s been there since 1999 and went 31-2 last year.
Senior forward Corey Krispert is leading the way with 20.2 points and 5.2 rebounds, and sophomore forward Drew Timme is adding 18.7 points and 6.9 boards. The Zags also receive plenty of contributions from guards Jalen Suggs (freshman, 13.5 ppg), Joel Ayayi (junior, 11.9 ppg) and Andrew Nembhard (junior, 9.5 ppg), among many others. As is usually the case with Few and the Zags, it has been a team-wide effort in the truest sense.
So why do few seem to notice? Well, for one, Gonzaga can indeed fall off the national radar when playing WCC games. Other than maybe BYU and St. Mary’s, Gonzaga’s conference foes haven’t exactly asserted themselves or proven to be worthy of great respect lately.
Along with that, college basketball is like the rest of the sports world — and dealing with a pandemic. So it’s been a bit chaotic and tough to follow. Not many people seem to know much about other top-10 teams such as Baylor, Villanova, Michigan, Houston, Texas and Ohio State, either.
But we are mere six weeks or so from March Madness. And no matter how you spin it, the Zags look like the team to beat, everyone’s favorite, and if they can run the table (and they just might), one of the greatest college basketball teams of all time.