Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Gonzaga not a No. 1 seed even before BYU loss

March 6, 2015 Columns No Comments

I may be in the minority, but prior to last Saturday night I was not really in the camp that thought Gonzaga should be a No. 1 seed. I was probably lukewarm to the idea, though it had been looking like a better case of late. It’s probably moot now that BYU beat them in Spokane, but should they sweep their way to a West Coast Conference championship, the subject will probably come up again.

Gonzaga has been a trendy team to speak of as a Final Four contender and a No. 1 seed as well. It’s understandable why; since the late 1990s they have ruled the West Coast Conference and annually play a loaded non-conference schedule, one where they win enough to be a lock for the NCAA Tournament whether they win the WCC or not. Last year might have been an exception, as I’m not sure they would have been in without a WCC championship, but they won, so it was moot.

Gonzaga has a top ten RPI, but that’s not the only consideration for a No. 1 seed. You need more than that. Let’s look at the Bulldogs’ splits for a little more.

The Bulldogs are 1-1 vs. top 25 teams, beating SMU and losing at Arizona. They are 5-2 vs. top 50 teams, with the other loss being against BYU. Two of those top 50 wins are over other bubble teams – BYU and UCLA (three if you count St. John’s as a bubble team). Their best win is over SMU; the next best one is either St. John’s or Georgia, depending on how you feel about those two. Saint Mary’s is a bit outside the top 50; whether they can rise up into the top 50 without beating Gonzaga along the way in Las Vegas is debatable.

Let’s say they beat BYU instead of losing. Then they go to 6-1 vs. top 50 teams, but BYU is a bubble team, so it would not have been another win over a tournament team. It would marginally improve their candidacy for a No. 1 seed.

That’s all pretty good; there’s no question they should be in the tournament and a pretty high seed. But No. 1? Consider me a bit underwhelmed.

At this point, Kentucky, Virginia and Duke look like three of the four No. 1 seeds. That leaves Arizona, Kansas, Villanova and Wisconsin as Gonzaga’s chief competition for the last one. All have more top 25 wins (though Wisconsin has just one more) and more top 50 wins than Gonzaga; had they beat BYU neither reality would change. Should they win the West Coast Conference Tournament this weekend, they won’t add another top 25 win and will likely add no more than one top 50 win to their resume.

Let’s look at their top competitors:

  • Arizona beat San Diego State at a neutral site, Gonzaga and Utah twice – the only team to beat the Utes in Salt Lake City.
  • Kansas has knocked off numerous good teams: Michigan State (neutral), at Georgetown, Utah, Baylor twice, Iowa State, Oklahoma and West Virginia – and their worst RPI wins are against Texas Tech.
  • Villanova blew out VCU (neutral) and has knocked off Butler, Xavier and Providence twice each, along with Georgetown and St. John’s.
  • Wisconsin has wins over Oklahoma, Georgetown, Michigan State, Iowa (twice) and Boise State, plus many more of teams a notch below those.

Gonzaga will be in the NCAA Tournament and should win games. It wouldn’t be shocking if they made a Final Four run. But the case for a No. 1 seed, even had the won against BYU last Saturday, seems a bit shaky.

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

Coaching Changes

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

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!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – May 30, 2018

May 30, 2018 by

The NBA Draft and its deadline to withdraw to return to school leads the way in our latest podcast. We also look at one conference’s new scheduling plans, a number of quick hitters, and pay tribute to a fallen conference leader.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 26, 2018

April 27, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we spend a lot of time looking at what the Commission on College Basketball came up with, as their report was just produced. We also look at the NBA Draft and transfers, which have many rosters potentially in flux for next season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 6, 2018

April 6, 2018 by

In our first podcast in the postseason, we look back one more time on the NCAA Tournament, which was just what we needed at this time. We also look at the NIT, CBI and CIT, as well as important transactions with players leaving early for the NBA Draft and coaching changes.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2018

April 3, 2018 by

The 2018 national championship is in the books, and with it another season of college basketball. We break down the national championship game and some of its implications to wrap up the season.

College Basketball Tonight – April 1, 2018

April 2, 2018 by

Welcome to our Final Four edition of College Basketball Tonight. In this edition, we look ahead to Monday’s national championship game, and bring on two guests – long-time Villanova radio play-by-play broadcaster Ryan Fannon and Radford head coach Mike Jones – to get their thoughts and insights on the game.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

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.