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View Full Version : Why I'm happy we lost to Arizona



kclubfounder
12-17-2014, 04:42 PM
I know, I know, some think I try to justify anything bad that ever happens to Gonzaga basketball. Nothing is ever really wrong. Few is a God. Etc...

However, I think there really truly is a silver lining to losing to Arizona. In fact, I think an argument can be made that losing to Arizona was actually preferable to beating them.

If this team is as good as not only I think, but the vast majority of the college basketball world believes, then there is a really good chance they will run the table the rest of the way. At worst, they will only lose 1 or 2 more. That means they WILL earn a spot in Seattle and a top 4 seed. In fact, if they run the table they will earn a spot in Seattle as a 1 seed. So as far as positioning in the NCAA tournament is concerned, the game did not hurt us AT ALL. And the fact is that the game will actually be pointed to to justify our high seeding.

As a HUGE Zag fan in a life filled with a combination of moderate Zag fans and Zag haters (I know plenty of Huskies!), I would be almost too nervous to watch the NCAA tournament if we entered it as an undefeated #1 seed - and potentially the overall #1 seed if Kentucky ever stumbles. If we were to lose before the Final Four, and heaven forbid before the Sweet Sixteen, I can't fathom the amount of crap I would have to endure. I believe the added pressure, which would practically paralyze me, would not be a good thing for the team either.

The fact is that losing serves as notice that you have work to do. I realize the Zags would have worked regardless, but I think losing that game serves as motivation to ENSURE that the continue to work - HARD. Even if we roll through the WCC and pound everyone, that loss will still be there to motivate. And I think that's a good thing.

Plus, should we roll through the rest of the schedule, we will NOT enter the tournament undefeated. And I think that is a good thing as well.

NumberCruncher
12-17-2014, 05:33 PM
I know, I know, some think I try to justify anything bad that ever happens to Gonzaga basketball. Nothing is ever really wrong. Few is a God. Etc...

However, I think there really truly is a silver lining to losing to Arizona. In fact, I think an argument can be made that losing to Arizona was actually preferable to beating them.

If this team is as good as not only I think, but the vast majority of the college basketball world believes, then there is a really good chance they will run the table the rest of the way. At worst, they will only lose 1 or 2 more. That means they WILL earn a spot in Seattle and a top 4 seed. In fact, if they run the table they will earn a spot in Seattle as a 1 seed. So as far as positioning in the NCAA tournament is concerned, the game did not hurt us AT ALL. And the fact is that the game will actually be pointed to to justify our high seeding.

As a HUGE Zag fan in a life filled with a combination of moderate Zag fans and Zag haters (I know plenty of Huskies!), I would be almost too nervous to watch the NCAA tournament if we entered it as an undefeated #1 seed - and potentially the overall #1 seed if Kentucky ever stumbles. If we were to lose before the Final Four, and heaven forbid before the Sweet Sixteen, I can't fathom the amount of crap I would have to endure. I believe the added pressure, which would practically paralyze me, would not be a good thing for the team either.

The fact is that losing serves as notice that you have work to do. I realize the Zags would have worked regardless, but I think losing that game serves as motivation to ENSURE that the continue to work - HARD. Even if we roll through the WCC and pound everyone, that loss will still be there to motivate. And I think that's a good thing.

Plus, should we roll through the rest of the schedule, we will NOT enter the tournament undefeated. And I think that is a good thing as well.

At the risk of the ire of the many who consider this kind of talk blasphemy, I agree. Of course we can view it this way as fans, but the players and coaches cannot. Nice to have that luxury.

bartruff1
12-17-2014, 05:37 PM
I have heard several coaches say (after a loss) that they would rather not enter the tourney undefeated...too much pressure on the kids to be perfect...

that a loss, takes the pressure off and they can relax and just play basketball.

Hoopaholic
12-17-2014, 05:48 PM
Lose ses can be a coaching tool and are not all that bad depending on the timing and manner/reason for the loss

Gonzdb8
12-17-2014, 06:04 PM
an interesting but ultimately not very convincing argument. your post seems to be able to be distilled into two broad points. first, that being the top seed would put way to much pressure on you as a fan. not too persuasive. i'd take a chance at an undefeated season, a road win against a top 3 team, and a #1 seed despite the impact it might have on your fragile psyche. none of us like the crap we get from the haters after an early march exit, but i'm not convinced a loss helps avoid that. haters gonna hate. your second point seems a little better, that losing serves as notice that we have work to do. well, yes it does, but so can a win. you seem to answer this argument yourself when you say that the team would have worked regardless. but even if you hadn't made that disclaimer winning a close game like this one can just as easily provide the motivation a team needs. i trust that even had we won that game our coaching staff would have not lauded praise on the guys, but instead let them enjoy the moment but then been highly critical of everything that could have gone better. my understanding is that miller treated their "win" against us as anything but with this team, which is the approach i'd think most coaches would take. so while i don't disagree that we can find some good in the loss and that ever dark cloud might indeed have a silver lining, i'm just not convinced that losing this game is better (in either the short or long term) than a win. given our record over the years against ranked teams (especially top 10) this win in particular would have been quite the statement.

Reborn
12-17-2014, 06:20 PM
I thought your argument was very good. I would use it myself if I needed to. I think all those points are very good. Let's just hope we go undefeated NOW. We all know that that won't be easy. If they DON'Twin the rest of their game, your argument is very good for getting a #1 seed. If they lose another game or even two, it's probably not. I can not say I liked losing that game. I hated it. But their can be a silver lining in the loss. We'll see. I do believe it has made the Zags work very very hard. And if we can beat UCLA and BYU ON THE road then that loss may have helped the Zags get motivated for those two road wins.

Go Zags!!!
One game at a time!

jyboc
12-17-2014, 06:24 PM
You seem to assume a lot! What happens if AZ drops a bunch of games in the Pac? Not saying this is likely but it is college basketball, where the best team doesn't always win. I don't think it's a bad loss, but who is to say the mental toughness that wasn't there during the end of that game, will now show up because we lost? Wouldn't proving we had toughness have been better than proving that we still don't have it, much like the stipulation we got from the Witchita game as a 1 seed?

Vanzagger
12-17-2014, 07:10 PM
Worst I ever felt after a Zags game was leaving the Kennel after a 2 pt victory over Utah on NY's Eve. Now the hang over the next morning may have topped it.

229SintoZag
12-17-2014, 07:23 PM
You seem to assume a lot! What happens if AZ drops a bunch of games in the Pac? Not saying this is likely but it is college basketball, where the best team doesn't always win. I don't think it's a bad loss, but who is to say the mental toughness that wasn't there during the end of that game, will now show up because we lost? Wouldn't proving we had toughness have been better than proving that we still don't have it, much like the stipulation we got from the Witchita game as a 1 seed?

I get a kick out of the suggestion that the staff or the team needs "motivation" or needs to somehow realize that they need to "work" to advance deep in the tournament.
Might I suggest that the staff and team may have already figured out, as elite coaches and elite division 1 athletes, that success on the floor takes a ton of hard work, win or lose? And that they team will be working just as hard after this overtime road loss as they would have been working had they won?

Just a thought...

MickMick
12-17-2014, 07:30 PM
Zags have made 25+ win seasons routine.

It is the post season that has cornered them in the national discussion. I doubt they go undefeated the rest of the way and I don't care if/when they do lose as long as they continuously show improvement. Good seeding is nice, but playing in Seattle is better.

I don't point to games this early as significant as long as they are not bad losses. I focus on how much the team is improving or stagnating over time. They need to be at the top of their game late....not early.

After the first weekend of the tournament, throw seeding position out the window. All of the teams remaining are really good. They wouldn't have survived the first weekend if they were not. Of all the fans that should understand this, Zag fans should realize it the most. Specific matchups and location are more important than seeding.

jyboc
12-17-2014, 07:37 PM
I get a kick out of the suggestion that the staff or the team needs "motivation" or needs to somehow realize that they need to "work" to advance deep in the tournament.
Might I suggest that the staff and team may have already figured out, as elite coaches and elite division 1 athletes, that success on the floor takes a ton of hard work, win or lose? And that they team will be working just as hard after this overtime road loss as they would have been working had they won?

Just a thought...


Most certainly they do! Not at all what my post says or suggests??? However, I do think that wins and losses help determine what to work on, not how hard they work.

DixieZag
12-17-2014, 08:01 PM
Zags have made 25+ win seasons routine.

It is the post season that has cornered them in the national discussion. I doubt they go undefeated the rest of the way and I don't care if/when they do lose as long as they continuously show improvement. Good seeding is nice, but playing in Seattle is better.

I don't point to games this early as significant as long as they are not bad losses. I focus on how much the team is improving or stagnating over time. They need to be at the top of their game late....not early.

After the first weekend of the tournament, throw seeding position out the window. All of the teams remaining are really good. They wouldn't have survived the first weekend if they were not. Of all the fans that should understand this, Zag fans should realize it the most. Specific matchups and location are more important than seeding.

I nearly always agree with you but on some of this, I'm not sure.

Certainly after the first weekend you're playing good teams or hot teams. The only little thing that could make a difference is the fact that there are two teams that are separating themselves from the pack. Duke and Kentucky. It seems avoiding them prior to the FF is very important. Therefore, the ideal situation is as the highest seed as we can be, one, two, three, whatever, and avoid the above two. Playing AZ seems ideal b/c of the tiny motivational kick b/c "we should have clipped them last time."

I am somewhat relieved we don't have to worry about going into the tourney undefeated. The obvious problem with that is it presumes we win from here on out. I posit it is less likely we'll run the table than having a loss somewhere along the way. Regardless, I don't think one or even two losses will have the effect some believe. I think AZ is more likely to lose one or two games than them going undefeated.

It is an interesting debate, big picture irrelevant b/c as you noted, special match-ups and location matter more than all of this. Hopefully we'll be well position. I think it might almost be ok if we're a 2 or a 3 as a dis' and take the "favorite" label off and put on the "we'll show you" hat.

ZagLawGrad
12-18-2014, 09:25 AM
Can never be "happy" with a loss. But it might play out that it has some positive effect. And it may not, as well.

rennis
12-18-2014, 09:39 AM
an interesting but ultimately not very convincing argument. your post seems to be able to be distilled into two broad points. first, that being the top seed would put way to much pressure on you as a fan. not too persuasive. i'd take a chance at an undefeated season, a road win against a top 3 team, and a #1 seed despite the impact it might have on your fragile psyche. none of us like the crap we get from the haters after an early march exit, but i'm not convinced a loss helps avoid that. haters gonna hate. your second point seems a little better, that losing serves as notice that we have work to do. well, yes it does, but so can a win. you seem to answer this argument yourself when you say that the team would have worked regardless. but even if you hadn't made that disclaimer winning a close game like this one can just as easily provide the motivation a team needs. i trust that even had we won that game our coaching staff would have not lauded praise on the guys, but instead let them enjoy the moment but then been highly critical of everything that could have gone better. my understanding is that miller treated their "win" against us as anything but with this team, which is the approach i'd think most coaches would take. so while i don't disagree that we can find some good in the loss and that ever dark cloud might indeed have a silver lining, i'm just not convinced that losing this game is better (in either the short or long term) than a win. given our record over the years against ranked teams (especially top 10) this win in particular would have been quite the statement.

This is one of the better things I've read on this board.

As another fan with a fragile psyche living in a land of Huskies, I'm with the OP, however - I'd hate going into the NCAA's undefeated. HATE.

rennis
12-18-2014, 09:42 AM
Good seeding is nice, but playing in Seattle is better.

Specific matchups and location are more important than seeding.

Matchups trump all else. We all know the Zags have lost close to home with a high seed. I'd love to see them play in Seattle, but there is no guarantee the crowd won't turn on them again either.

BTB
12-18-2014, 09:55 AM
an interesting but ultimately not very convincing argument. your post seems to be able to be distilled into two broad points. first, that being the top seed would put way to much pressure on you as a fan. not too persuasive. i'd take a chance at an undefeated season, a road win against a top 3 team, and a #1 seed despite the impact it might have on your fragile psyche. none of us like the crap we get from the haters after an early march exit, but i'm not convinced a loss helps avoid that. haters gonna hate. your second point seems a little better, that losing serves as notice that we have work to do. well, yes it does, but so can a win. you seem to answer this argument yourself when you say that the team would have worked regardless. but even if you hadn't made that disclaimer winning a close game like this one can just as easily provide the motivation a team needs. i trust that even had we won that game our coaching staff would have not lauded praise on the guys, but instead let them enjoy the moment but then been highly critical of everything that could have gone better. my understanding is that miller treated their "win" against us as anything but with this team, which is the approach i'd think most coaches would take. so while i don't disagree that we can find some good in the loss and that ever dark cloud might indeed have a silver lining, i'm just not convinced that losing this game is better (in either the short or long term) than a win. given our record over the years against ranked teams (especially top 10) this win in particular would have been quite the statement.

Completely agree. If we had made 1 more free throw or shot there would have been just as many teaching points for the coaches as there were anyways. Sure theres a silver lining but a silver lining is not as good as a win.