The Gonzaga Bulldogs have been one of the most consistent programs in the 21st Century, making the NCAA tournament every single year. However, there has been one thing to old them back and that is the lack of the National Championship.
For a long time they have been a team that would usually make it to the round of 32 and then get eliminated highlighted by their 2013 loss to Wichita State.
They have been better over recent years, and it has really shown in all facets of their program. Highly touted recruits, an increase in the number of star players developed by Mark Few and drafted into the NBA.
If you look at the full list of Gonzaga players in the NBA you can see a clear change in the type of players that Gonzaga has. Prior to Kelly Olynyk, the list was littered with guys that had a cup of coffee in the NBA or were guys at the end of the bench. Now he is getting uber skilled players like Brandon Clarke, Rui Hachimura and Domantas Sabonis into the NBA.
This year, add a couple more potential first round picks onto the list in Corey Kispert and freshman superstar Jalen Suggs.
Between these two and throw in Drew Timme and Joel Ayayi and this Bulldogs team has the firepower to get over the hump. Sure, I’m probably stating the obvious since this team is undefeated, but I’m sure there are a lot of people who will doubt the Bulldogs after years and years of them coming up short. So I will put my neck out there for Gonzaga and say this is finally the year. We said the same thing about Villanova prior to 2016, and look what has happened to the Wildcats since that Big East tournament loss to Seton Hall. They have won multiple titles and are probably one of the best programs in college basketball. They have been one of the better programs years before their titles, but the titles got them a seat at the table and now the title is all Gonzaga needs.
They are hungry and I’m sure a lot of teams will be motivated even without a packed house in the arenas but Gonzaga has an undefeated season to finish, and a stigma to end.
There is nothing creative about picking the overall number one seed to win it all but there is something fun about being on the right side of history and when you pick the winner of the tournament you always feel a little bit better about March Madness that year, and you will only be on that side if you pick Gonzaga to win it all.
Always need to watch some Adam Morrision highlights when talking about Gonzaga.