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NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheet: Getting to know Gonzaga

Mar 12, 2013, 12:24 AM EDT

WCC Basketball Tournament - Championship Getty Images

Read through the rest of the Cheat Sheets here.

Conference: WCC

Coach: Mark Few

Record: 31-2, 16-0

Rankings and Ratings:

– Kenpom: 4
– RPI: 11
– AP/USA Today: 1/1

Seeding?: Our Dave Ommen had the Zags as a No. 1 seed in Monday’s bracket projection.

Names you need to know: Kelly Olynyk (17.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg), Elias Harris (14.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg), Kevin Pangos (11.8 ppg, 3.2 apg)

Stats you need to know: Everyone is going to talk about Gonzaga’s front line, but it’s important to note that the back court of Gary Bell and Kevin Pangos combines for 21.0 ppg and 40.8% three-point shooting.

Tendencies: Gonzaga has a very good front line and Mark Few sure does know how to play through them. What makes those big guys dangerous is their versatility. Olynyk and Harris can handle the ball, they can step out and hit a jumper, they can pass the ball.

Big wins, bad losses: They lost to Illinois when Brandon Paul went crazy and Butler in Hinkle when Roosevelt Jones scored the flukiest bucket of the season.

How’d they get here?: The Zags won the WCC’s automatic bid, but the only thing that did was put them into a better position to get a No. 1 seed. Kansas State and Oklahoma State are their two best wins.

Outlook: Gonzaga is a national title contender. There’s simply no way that anyone can make an argument against that. They have the best front line in the country, one of the nation’s most under-appreciated back court and plenty of size and athleticism on the wings. The shoot it well, they score in the post, they can beat a zone and execute against a man-to-man, they defend, they rebound. They’re legit.

How do I know you?: Everyone knows Gonzaga. But if you don’t know their star, Olynyk, you may recognize him as Mitch from the movie Dazed and Confused.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

  1. xli2006 - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    Loyola Maramount and Saint Marys was Gonzaga’s path through their Conf Tourney. Yes, you read that correctly.

    Good team, terrible conference. We’ll find out soon if Gonzaga is for real or just preying on a weak schedule.

    • bordner - Mar 12, 2013 at 9:42 AM

      So what’s your point? They knocked-off the hottest team in the tournament and the team that was ranked #26 in the nation by the AP and #21 by the Coaches to win the CC. Yes, you read THAT correctly.

      “Terrible” is not how you describe a conference that put 3 teams in the NCAA tournament last year. They’re no B1G, but who is? If you ever logged any time actually watching the teams play vs. just jumping on all of the Gonzaga articles for the sole purpose of bashing them, you’d see that the WCC is definitely a middle-of-the-pack or better conference. There’s no shame there.

  2. sdb74 - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    Gonzaga’s schedule, conference, etc are a complete joke. They would be 9-9 in the Big 10. No chance this team makes the Final 4. No way they could beat IU, Duke, Louisville, etc. Would love to be the #2, #3, #4, etc in Gonzaga’s bracket. I actually think the #8 or #9 seed would beat them in round 2. Also, Butler may beat Gonzaga on a “fluky” shot but lets not forget Butler’s best player, Rotnei Clark, didn’t even play!! Also, Illinois won @ Gonzaga by double digit points. Illinois finished 8th in the Big 10! Gonzaga is beyond overrated.

    • stlouis1baseball - Mar 12, 2013 at 1:03 PM

      sdb: Again…you are not even close. Please stop with the Gonzaga ramblings.
      You aren’t doing your fellow Hoosier fans any favors. In fact…you are hurting the cause.
      Buy the college hoops package so you can brush up on basketball outside of the Big Ten Conference.

  3. sdb74 - Mar 12, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    I watch college hoops non stop. A lot of teams outside the Big 10 are good. Duke is really really good. Louisville is really really good. Georgetown is really good. Kansas is really good. Miami is pretty good. Marquette is good. I like New Mexico too. VCU is vastly underrated. There are a lot of really good teams. I just don’t think Gonzaga is one of them. I have seen them several times too. LMU was 1-15 in a bad league & the Zags looked dreadful against them in the 1st half. I’m just amazed @ how lazy people are to just see Gonzaga has lost twice & think they are really really good. It’s absurd. Again, no chance they make the Final. This will come to reality in a couple weeks then I can stop educating people.

  4. sdb74 - Mar 12, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    Gonzaga beat some Big 12 schools not named Kansas & went 16-0 in a bad league. Now,they are the greatest thing in the world. Honestly, all you can do is laugh. Wow.

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