Home » Columns » Currently Reading:


March 12, 2002 Columns No Comments

No R-E-S-P-E-C-T

by Dan Hauptman

In each of the last three NCAA Tournaments, the Gonzaga Bulldogs have advanced to at least the Sweet 16. Only Michigan State and Duke have accomplished this feat the past three years, something that speaks volumes about the success of the West Coast Conference team from Spokane, WA. One would think that this history, as well as the stellar play of Mark Few’s team this season, would propel the Bulldogs to at least a top four seed this time around. Obviously, the selection committee does not think this way, as Gonzaga is seeded an insulting sixth in the West region of the 2002 Big Dance.

This seeding trend has been quite evident in the 1999, 2000 and 2001 Tournaments, as Gonzaga was seeded 10th, 10th and then 12th in the respective championships. Why? Maybe it is because of the mid-major conference that the Bulldogs play in. Maybe it is because they play their games late at night in the middle of Washington, with very few selection committee members staying up to watch the exciting squad compete. Maybe it is the bias that the committee has shown through the years to teams playing in the six major conferences (ACC, SEC, Big East, Big 12, Big 10, Pac 10). Whatever the reason, there are questions of respect, or lack of, that need to be answered by the nine men and a woman on the selection staff.

This year, the Bulldogs had the best regular season in their history, as Gonzaga won a school-record 29 games and only lost three contests, all to Tournament teams (Illinois, Marquette and Pepperdine). Also, the school won its last 14 games, including capturing its fourth consecutive West Coast Conference tournament title with a 96-90 win against Pepperdine. No school lost fewer overall games than Gonzaga did, and the same holds true at home, as star guard Dan Dickau capped a perfect home career by winning every contest at the Kennel this season. There was very little that this squad could have done during the 32-game season to be more desirable in the committee’s eyes.

But evidently there was a whole lot more that Few’s team could have done, as according to the powers-that-be, this top ten team did not deserve to be in the top 20 in the field of 65. Also, Gonzaga was placed in perhaps the toughest region in the entire Tournament. The West bracket contains Conference USA winner Cincinnati (No. 1 seed), Big 12 champion Oklahoma (No. 2), Pac 10 crown-wearer Arizona (No. 3) and Big 10 title-holder Ohio State (No. 4). The road to the regionals in San Jose will undoubtedly be difficult, but as was the case in years past, expect the Bulldogs to be among the final 16 teams, maybe even playing in Atlanta as one of the last four teams alive. Think of it as poetic justice.

Tournament Tidbits:

• Unlike many others, I actually don’t mind the new “pod” system of assigning games, but there are some examples that clearly do not make any sense. Take UCLA, the No. 8 seed in the West region has to travel across the country to play its first two rounds in Pittsburgh, PA. Similarly with Cal, which is in the South bracket yet has to fly from Berkeley to Pennsylvania to play its first couple of games.

• Most intriguing first round matchup: No.10 Michigan State vs. No.7 North Carolina State. As Jason Drucker writes in his region preview, this game has “Classic” written all over it.

• Worst seed with the best chance at winning a game: No.15 Hampton vs. No. 2 Connecticut. Just ask the Iowa State Cyclones, which lost to 15th-seeded Hampton in last year’s first round.

• Sleeper, besides Gonzaga: Kent State. In the last six Tournaments, a double-digit seed has advanced to the Sweet 16. The 10th-seeded Golden Flashes may be this year’s representative.


Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 27, 2017

April 27, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, the business of college sports, as well as that of sports media, takes center stage. We talk about the layoffs at ESPN, college basketball’s opening night, and Wichita State’s departure from the Missouri Valley Conference. We close with thoughts on a departed friend of the media business as well.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 11, 2017

April 11, 2017 by

In our first off-season edition, we look back on the season that just ended, including redemption for one team and a big development for a conference that has had more questions than success on the hardwood. We also look at players coming and going, as well as big coaching news on a day where there was a lot of it.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2017

April 4, 2017 by

We look back at Monday’s national championship game, which was not a thing of beauty but had plenty of drama. Along the way we share some post-game quotes from both coaches.

College Basketball Tonight – April 2, 2017

April 3, 2017 by

In our Final Four special edition, three head coaches join us to offer their insights on the Final Four, as well as their own programs.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 2, 2017

April 2, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about the national semifinal contests and then look ahead to an intriguing matchup for the national championship that is ahead of us on Monday night.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout