In the month of Madness, there is one thing you can count on every year in the NCAA Tournament: That Gonzaga will be playing in it.
You make make a mess of your bracket, but I guarantee you that the Zags will always be printed on it. Every year.
Even this year, when all the howlers were starting to say Gonzaga’s dancing streak was over. Right- because they’ve been to 17 straight tourneys, and Mark Few’s team WASN’T going to punch a ticket. Well… Actually for a while it seemed like they weren’t. 1-5 against the RPI Top 50, their quote “quality” wins weren’t impressive. But you know what was impressive? The Zags not giving a damn and just ripping it right out of the selection committee’s hands.
Think we’re going to get stiffed on Sunday? Then we’ll just win the conference tourney on Tuesday. Of course that happened.
Gonzaga took out St. Mary’s, won the WCC tournament, and they’re in. I don’t care if they had to go through the St. Mary’s Gaels or the Golden State Warriors to win that thing, they were ripping a ticket.
You can’t have the NCAA Tournament without Gonzaga. It’s like having the AFC playoffs without the Patriots. Or the Top 5 picks of the draft without the Jags. Or the Smack-Off without Trapper. It wouldn’t be right.
And as long as Mark Few is coaching there, we’re not going to see it.
When this streak started in the late 90s, Gonzaga was known as “that program where John Stockton played.” But that, of course, all changed. It’s not just Stockton. It’s Casey Calvary. Dan Dickau. Ronny Turiaf. Adam Morrison. And now it’s power forward Domantas Sabonis.
Shoot we need Gonzaga in the tournament, just so we can see his old man Arvydis up in the stands at 12-foot-5. Big man has grown another 4 feet since he left the league. I’ll tell you who loses in the first round: Who ever sits behind Mr. Sabonis.
But the most unpredictable event of the year has a handful of locks: There’ll be a lot of talk about “great guard play,” someone will remind you that a 16 has never beaten a 1, there will be a lot of “glass slipper” smack, your office’s worst dude will have your office’s best bracket, some scrappy little losing point guard will be on the floor with his jersey pulled over his head crying, your lady will dust up during one shining moment, no one will call the play-in games “The first four”, and just like every freaking year- Gonzaga will there.
This post brought to you by Jim Rome.