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View Full Version : Why a loss will cost dearly in the final 10 games plus WCC tourney



TravelinZag
01-28-2015, 12:10 AM
With the doubters speaking out and the "over-rated" chorus tuning up, the Zags could pay a high price for any loss. Sixteen teams are within one or two losses of Gonzaga. Seven, mostly "big" name programs, have only two losses. That number will drop by one when Duke visits Notre Dame Wednesday, but the winner could eventually jump the Zags in rankings (relatively unimportant) and seedings (hugely important). Two-loss Arizona, Wichita State and Northern Iowa also play Wednesday, as do three-loss Kansas and Louisville. Thursday, undefeated Kentucky and three-loss Utah, Dayton and Maryland are in action. Unfortunately, the national commentators will give Gonzaga little credit for any wins on its remaining schedule, but pounce on any loss with a significant poll drop. Ironically, the perceived toughest game on the schedule is at St. Mary's. However, if the Zags win, and deliver another blow to the Gaels in the WCC tourney, they will have at least six losses. That will devalue GU's wins, and put St Mary's (and perhaps the WCC) very much on the bubble for a dance invite.

The good news: the low-loss teams, and even the undefeated teams will beat up each other in the coming weeks. With two Pacific Northwest first-round sites, it is difficult to envision a scenario in which Gonzaga does not dance the first week-end close to home. Best of all, the Zags are certainly capable of running the table, and will be favored in every game. To a great extent, they control their destiny, and they are a determined group.

Still, it seems strange that this great season has placed the Zags in a "win -- ho-hum; lose -- doomed" situation. Perhaps that pressure provides an incentive that some of the scheduled opponents do not. Got to admit, it makes for a fun ride. Won't miss a moment of it while trying to figure out how to get to Seattle . . . or Portland . . . or Seattle. With some super recent travels and a new home in the final stages, I can't fund the guaranteed approach of buying great seat "strips" at the market and making refundable air reservations to both cities. (Hotels won't be a problem; there will be hundreds of cancellations on selection Sunday.) But I'll need inspiration and innovation to make it to the PNW. NCAA first week-end remains on my bucket list, even ahead of final four. The Zags will be there; hope I can be too.

ZagaZags
01-28-2015, 12:40 AM
With the doubters speaking out and the "over-rated" chorus tuning up, the Zags could pay a high price for any loss. Sixteen teams are within one or two losses of Gonzaga. Seven, mostly "big" name programs, have only two losses. That number will drop by one when Duke visits Notre Dame Wednesday, but the winner could eventually jump the Zags in rankings (relatively unimportant) and seedings (hugely important). Two-loss Arizona, Wichita State and Northern Iowa also play Wednesday, as do three-loss Kansas and Louisville. Thursday, undefeated Kentucky and three-loss Utah, Dayton and Maryland are in action. Unfortunately, the national commentators will give Gonzaga little credit for any wins on its remaining schedule, but pounce on any loss with a significant poll drop. Ironically, the perceived toughest game on the schedule is at St. Mary's. However, if the Zags win, and deliver another blow to the Gaels in the WCC tourney, they will have at least six losses. That will devalue GU's wins, and put St Mary's (and perhaps the WCC) very much on the bubble for a dance invite.

The good news: the low-loss teams, and even the undefeated teams will beat up each other in the coming weeks. With two Pacific Northwest first-round sites, it is difficult to envision a scenario in which Gonzaga does not dance the first week-end close to home. Best of all, the Zags are certainly capable of running the table, and will be favored in every game. To a great extent, they control their destiny, and they are a determined group.

Still, it seems strange that this great season has placed the Zags in a "win -- ho-hum; lose -- doomed" situation. Perhaps that pressure provides an incentive that some of the scheduled opponents do not. Got to admit, it makes for a fun ride. Won't miss a moment of it while trying to figure out how to get to Seattle . . . or Portland . . . or Seattle. With some super recent travels and a new home in the final stages, I can't fund the guaranteed approach of buying great seat "strips" at the market and making refundable air reservations to both cities. (Hotels won't be a problem; there will be hundreds of cancellations on selection Sunday.) But I'll need inspiration and innovation to make it to the PNW. NCAA first week-end remains on my bucket list, even ahead of final four. The Zags will be there; hope I can be too.

I'm not worried one bit. This team is solid as a rock and will run the WCC. 33-1

JAGzag
01-28-2015, 02:18 AM
I'm not worried one bit. This team is solid as a rock and will run the WCC. 33-1

I would gladly trade 2-3 losses for a deep run in March. Listen, we've done the "rise to #1 when tougher schedules/leagues beat up on each other", and it didn't go anywhere. I want this team hungry and ready - not sure running the WCC will help. But hey, we could get both and have a year for the ages!

bartruff1
01-28-2015, 05:03 AM
A loss in the first round of the WCC would hurt...but not much...the simple fact is that Gonzaga is going to the dance with a high seed all the teams are good and it will be up them how far they go....it is one and done and all about match ups and who is on a roll..

I could care less who else from the WCC goes,

Hoopaholic
01-28-2015, 05:05 AM
I am not sold that a loss would be absolutely devastating....If we get 2 losses between now and the tournament, I think we end up a 4 seed still in the west.....otherwise we are a 1 0r 2 seed in the west with running table or a single loss

gonzagafan62
01-28-2015, 05:06 AM
I would gladly trade 2-3 losses for a deep run in March. Listen, we've done the "rise to #1 when tougher schedules/leagues beat up on each other", and it didn't go anywhere. I want this team hungry and ready - not sure running the WCC will help. But hey, we could get both and have a year for the ages!

I loved mark fews line for those that only care about March. "It's like your missing the boat man. You're missing the journey. You're pretty much throwing away your kid till he's 18 and saying you must go to a good college"

DixieZag
01-28-2015, 06:38 AM
2013 really set us up to be on the razor's edge in the pollster's minds this year. I think if Duke beats UVA they jump us in the polls next week and we're 4th. UVA will move to 3rd.

Reborn
01-28-2015, 06:46 AM
I don't think Gonzaga loses. So why spend time thinking about what will happen if they do. That's just me. Why am I so confedent? Because guys like Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell, Kyle Wiltjer, Wesley and Mt Karno will not let it happen. This team is not only talented, but its mature. They know how to get ready for each game.

Go Zags!!!

hooter73
01-28-2015, 07:54 AM
TravelinZag just made an excellent thread.

I am one of the not "doubters", but maybe not so blindly optimistic... just to throw that out there.

The WCC is also one of those where everyone is beating up on each other on this second half stretch. No one is really getting better though. Kentucky is seemingly getting better (a young team finally learning to be a team) but with the WCC teams, BYU is near imploding, St. Marys is a one player team, Portland gave us hope early and flopped and Pep is sure trying for everything they are worth, but no one is really improving which is the crux of the argument with GU not being as prepared/tested/whatever by our "weak" conference for March. A good coach really negates that by focusing on what we can improve on or continually advancing and molding the team. Is that enough? I dont know.

I have said many times in the past that I could care less about the NCAAs, because it is such a small sample of games. I'd rather be entertained for the four months leading up to that three week stretch than wring my hands the whole time about what it means for March Madness. This year however as we come closer to it, I care a little more than usual because it does seem that we have the stage set with all the pieces in place to go deep into that thing that everyone places as the benchmark of college basketball. Its rubbed off, I want to see us get there, I just dont know what it takes for all the stars to be aligned to do it and I dont think anyone else really does either.

It seems like the entire road through the tournament is such a crap shoot with so many uncontrollable, random factors at play that there is no way to prepare other than a team controlling what they can actually control. Outside of that and looking at those factors that do help out, like quality opponents in league play leading up to March, you can either be underwhelmed and hopeful or be hopeful and underwhelmed. Heres hoping.

hondo
01-28-2015, 08:26 AM
"It seems like the entire road through the tournament is such a crap shoot with so many uncontrollable, random factors at play that there is no way to prepare other than a team controlling what they can actually control."

Let's just beat Portland then worry about Memphis. Enjoy the wonderful season we are having.

GonzagasaurusFlex
01-28-2015, 08:28 AM
Thought provoking thread and love the Mark Few quote brought to us by gonzagafan62:

I loved mark fews line for those that only care about March. "It's like your missing the boat man. You're missing the journey. You're pretty much throwing away your kid till he's 18 and saying you must go to a good college"

As an admitted Final Four or bust type fan, I am glad Coach Few's perspective above has completely shifted my attitude to just wanting to enjoy such a great TEAM continue to shine this regular season...because this is most definitely a special blend of talent and chemistry.

The most interesting angle on this thread topic is the irony of it all. If the Zags win out and head into March Madness as a one loss #1 seed, then they can embrace their Platonic underdog form because regardless of their #1 seed, all the pundits will say it's undeserved, Zags are over-rated etc. etc.
I for one would love to see us earn a #1 seed then the players and coaches can head into the Big Dance with a chip on their shoulders ready to prove to the world they are the real deal.

Zagdawg
01-28-2015, 08:29 AM
It's been said before--- our 2nd team in practice would be in 3rd place (2nd?) in the WCC if the Zags were actually 2 teams. So our Zags get good practice day in and day out against solid competition -- but it is not the same as a real game-- still the depth does help the Zags get ready on a weekly basis.

Zag 2nd team:
EzMac (Perkins)
Melson
Dranginis
Nunez
Sabonis

BULLDOG#1
01-28-2015, 08:44 AM
Love the confidence here, but it's not a foregone conclusion that the zags will win out. It's NEVER easy to run the table in league and despite their record, Memphis will be a test. WCC tourney will be a fight, too.

I posted before that the ONLY way the zags get a 1 seed is to win out. The committee looking at the only loss being to a solid AZ team on the road will have to give a one seed. ... One loss though, and the zags will drop to a 3 or 4 seed.

CdAZagFan
01-28-2015, 08:50 AM
I do agree that if we lose a WCC game at this point we will be hit hard in the polls... That being said, we should still be a very high seed and this season is just too incredible not to just sit back and relax and enjoy the ride!

seacatfan
01-28-2015, 09:03 AM
Duke has upcoming road games at Notre Dame and Virginia this week. I would be surprised if they won both. If they split they should probably stay about where they are, but I could see the pollsters getting collective amnesia if they drop the first game at ND, but then beat UVa. Although IIRC Tony Bennett's boys whupped 'em good last year in Charlottesville.

I already ordered tickets for the Tourney games in Seattle. I was there in '99 and '04, been waiting a LONG TIME for Seattle to host again. During that interim my dad tried a couple times to get tickets when Portland hosted, but he wasn't successful. I'll be shocked if one of Gonzaga or Arizona isn't in Seattle, so I should be able to see one of my teams play. Taking in all the games during the opening weekend is a lot of fun, glad I'll finally get to do it again.

coolhandzag
01-28-2015, 09:17 AM
One game at a time. Who is next, is who is next. That's it.

What happen in the ACC, PAC-12 or NJCAA is meaningless.

Every team in the Bracket will be a good one, and they only improve with each advancing round. Rebound. Defend. Execute. Improve.

TexasZagFan
01-28-2015, 09:52 AM
I'm more worried about the USF game. That venue is littered with bad memories for Zag fans.

titopoet
01-28-2015, 10:04 AM
I don't think Gonzaga loses. So why spend time thinking about what will happen if they do. That's just me. Why am I so confedent? Because guys like Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell, Kyle Wiltjer, Wesley and Mt Karno will not let it happen. This team is not only talented, but its mature. They know how to get ready for each game.

Go Zags!!!

Kenpom has Gu having a better than 50% chance of winning out. Better than Kentucky and Virgina. This season has a different feel than the last time they got a one seed. While the general fans are still clammering that GU is over rated, the pundits and the people in the know aren't. This is one special team. If Eric can fill in as backup PG or Josh returns, this team has all of the pieces.

MDABE80
01-28-2015, 10:26 AM
"It seems like the entire road through the tournament is such a crap shoot with so many uncontrollable, random factors at play that there is no way to prepare other than a team controlling what they can actually control."

Let's just beat Portland then worry about Memphis. Enjoy the wonderful season we are having.

This!!!**************** The voice of a season veteran!!

77Zag
01-28-2015, 10:33 AM
I read on the board somewhere, we would lose to USF in the WCC tournament final...!!

If we don't lose another game in March or April, I would be just fine.

:cheers:

VaBeachZAG
01-28-2015, 10:34 AM
Love the confidence here, but it's not a foregone conclusion that the zags will win out. It's NEVER easy to run the table in league and despite their record, Memphis will be a test. WCC tourney will be a fight, too.

I posted before that the ONLY way the zags get a 1 seed is to win out. The committee looking at the only loss being to a solid AZ team on the road will have to give a one seed. ... One loss though, and the zags will drop to a 3 or 4 seed.

Totally agree with everything said above. Although one or more league losses could occur, my gut tells me we win out. Some on this board over the past week have opined that a loss might be good for the Zags (teaching moment, whatever), well, I couldn't disagree more. There is absolutely nothing to gain and a lot to lose from a WCC loss (seeding, ranking, national prestige. etc.). Regardless of where the team lands in the seeding sweepstakes at the end of the season, it will have tremendous pressure on it to make a deep run. Winning out the season, or taking one or more league losses, the pressure will be the same. So, just win out and walk into the tournament as one of the elites and what happens from there will happen. Oh, on another note, nobody is jumping the Zags in the rankings as long as they keep winning, sorry Duke!

zagamatic
01-28-2015, 01:49 PM
Yes, I believe that it's been posted that the WCC is ranked seventh as a league. Yes, I believe that the Zags can run the table thru the conference tournament. But in order for the Zags to keep the critics at bay, at least somewhat, do the Zags HAVE TO dominate the remaining games on their schedule? Do they have to win by a wide margin while maintaining their offensive efficiency and improving their defensive efficiency?
Don't forget that about 2/3 of the country doesn't watch west coast basketball unless it's the Zags, Arizona, San Diego State or some other flavor of the year because A) they're asleep or B) they aren't televised in their area. But it does help when you hear things like what I heard last night during the Tennessee vs Arkansas game. During the game, the announcers were talking about when they asked Georgia's coach Mark Fox who he thought was the best team they've played so far and he responded something to the effect of "Gonzaga, and it's not even close." I'd really like to hear the answer to that same question after they play Kentucky.

ValencyLovesZagsInAtlanta
01-29-2015, 05:04 AM
This!!!**************** The voice of a season veteran!!


I think you create your own good fortune by putting a premium on the most difficult tasks at hand. You can categorize almost anything as a crap shoot in life but that is an excuse driven barometer. Getting your MD is an amazing accomplishment just like winning the WCC every year (just an analogy) BUT its value does diminish to some degree IF you can't pass the United States Medical Licensing Exam which we can equate to the NCAA Tournament for arguments sake. So can a team in general apply everything they learned in the regular season and apply it and be successful when the BIG TEST comes??? Ask yourself what are the strong predictors of performance in the NCAA Tournament or the USMLE???? Maybe there are some similarities??? Just because other schools (undergrad) are more selective when accepting students for Med School shouldn't and doesn't always equate to those students being the most successful on the USMLE. I kinda of think of the Zags as a program that always has a high under grad GPA (regular season) but has trouble on the USMLE exam (NCAA Tournament).

I would like for ONE year the expectations from the fan base/coaches to change. I personally really love that you guys give me the opportunity to express myself on this great message board with some of the most amazing people in the world. To be honest though I understand our culture here pretty well and have learned unfortunately to accept the "its all just a crap shoot mentality..." The problem is when/if we break through I DON'T want to hear how lucky we were. Everyone here should understand we had a special team that won it all with unique skill, coaching and YES a break along the way. A break does not equate to a crap shoot.

Doc I love ya. :) Your friend Val...xoxo

seacatfan
01-29-2015, 11:20 AM
I think you create your own good fortune by putting a premium on the most difficult tasks at hand. You can categorize almost anything as a crap shoot in life but that is an excuse driven barometer. Getting your MD is an amazing accomplishment just like winning the WCC every year (just an analogy) BUT its value does diminish to some degree IF you can't pass the United States Medical Licensing Exam which we can equate to the NCAA Tournament for arguments sake. So can a team in general apply everything they learned in the regular season and apply it and be successful when the BIG TEST comes??? Ask yourself what are the strong predictors of performance in the NCAA Tournament or the USMLE???? Maybe there are some similarities??? Just because other schools (undergrad) are more selective when accepting students for Med School shouldn't and doesn't always equate to those students being the most successful on the USMLE. I kinda of think of the Zags as a program that always has a high under grad GPA (regular season) but has trouble on the USMLE exam (NCAA Tournament).

I would like for ONE year the expectations from the fan base/coaches to change. I personally really love that you guys give me the opportunity to express myself on this great message board with some of the most amazing people in the world. To be honest though I understand our culture here pretty well and have learned unfortunately to accept the "its all just a crap shoot mentality..." The problem is when/if we break through I DON'T want to hear how lucky we were. Everyone here should understand we had a special team that won it all with unique skill, coaching and YES a break along the way. A break does not equate to a crap shoot.

Doc I love ya. :) Your friend Val...xoxo

I agree with you Valency. I really don't like the "Tournament is a crapshoot" mentality. Seems like it's making an excuse proactively for when things don't turn out the way you would like it to. Even if you buy into the crapshoot idea, this will be the 17th straight appearance for the Zags. Isn't the idea of gambling/betting that the odds come out in your favor sometimes? Aren't the Zags due by now?

Zagdawg
01-29-2015, 11:32 AM
Give Few a stable full of top 100 5 stars and reduce the chance component.

If I had a roster full of burger boys-- I would also be tilting the odds in my favor a bit-- but when you have to hope the opposing team have an off night and you are playing your A game -- well so be it.

That is one of the best things about the dance each year-- the "upsets" -- blowing up every ones bracket--"but, but.....that wasn't supposed to happen.....I have 9 top 100 recruits on the roster and still got beat by an 11 seed". If the team with the best players always won....it wouldn't be too fun of a tournament.

Go Zags

DADoZAG
01-29-2015, 11:50 AM
I agree with you Valency. I really don't like the "Tournament is a crapshoot" mentality. Seems like it's making an excuse proactively for when things don't turn out the way you would like it to. Even if you buy into the crapshoot idea, this will be the 17th straight appearance for the Zags. Isn't the idea of gambling/betting that the odds come out in your favor sometimes? Aren't the Zags due by now?

'Like Val's post as well. That is, all except the "I love ya" part, anyway. [I'm sure that is quite relieving for Abe]

No one says the elite 8 run was all a crap shoot (although there were several breaks, most def), or the trips to the sweet 16.

Believe, and you don't need excuses.

Go ZAGS!

maynard g krebs
01-29-2015, 03:10 PM
I think people often misinterpret what is meant by calling the tourney a crapshoot. It has nothing to do with making excuses for a loss. It is simply an acknowledgement of the fact that virtually every every team in the tournament can beat anybody else, with the exception of the bottom auto bid teams.

It's a one game scenario, and we see virtually all teams underperform and overperform in a number of games throughout the season. GU lays an egg like they did at Pepperdine (their only really bad game of the season imo; maybe Cal Poly as well) and they lose in the second round this year. Or Arizona plays like they did at OS (who just lost by 20 at ASU) and same result. You can have a hot or cold day at any time for no discernible reason, and then dimwit pundits rate your entire year on that day.

I do acknowledge that there's increased pressure in March and some teams play raise their games and play better while others get tight, and I think the Zags have a tendency to be hurt by playing tight and "not to lose" at times; Tex Tech comes to mind. But overall the Zags have played about to seed, and have gotten some really bad matchups and locations (Wyoming at New Mexico, Davidson in NC, having to play an unbeatable North Carolina in the s16 with a team that could have gone further; hmmmm...) when they lost to lower seeded teams. In sum they really haven't overachieved or underachieved over the course of 16 years based on seeding.

I don't care for Val's analogy because school competency tests simply measure a combination of knowledge and testing ability; your mind may be sharper on one day than another, but it's not like the difference between a hot or cold shooting day. Anthony Davis isn't gonna block me from marking the correct answer on a multiple choice question. And if 5 guys from Wichita all guess a bunch of answers right at random and have a freakishly high score that day (they made like 2 of 20 3's the previous day and shot low 30's for the season) it doesn't lower my score.

For the above reasons, I watch and enjoy each game of the season with little thought to the future. Of course everybody gets more excited about the tourney, and it's always devastating when the season is over. I allow myself to be devastated for about an hour, and then start thinking about the prospects for next year.

Zagdawg
01-29-2015, 03:22 PM
Well stated Maynard-- not excuses just the facts. We see it every year when the "upsets" occur and brackets get blown up. Someone gets hot or someone goes cold-- or an injury occurs-- or the refs get a little to excited with their whistles. We have a ton of great players on this team--our depth will make the difference.

Go Zags

DixieZag
01-29-2015, 03:22 PM
I think people often misinterpret what is meant by calling the tourney a crapshoot. It has nothing to do with making excuses for a loss. It is simply an acknowledgement of the fact that virtually every every team in the tournament can beat anybody else, with the exception of the bottom auto bid teams.

It's a one game scenario, and we see virtually all teams underperform and overperform in a number of games throughout the season. GU lays an egg like they did at Pepperdine (their only really bad game of the season imo; maybe Cal Poly as well) and they lose in the second round this year. Or Arizona plays like they did at OS (who just lost by 20 at ASU) and same result. You can have a hot or cold day at any time for no discernible reason, and then dimwit pundits rate your entire year on that day.

I do acknowledge that there's increased pressure in March and some teams play raise their games and play better while others get tight, and I think the Zags have a tendency to be hurt by playing tight and "not to lose" at times; Tex Tech comes to mind. But overall the Zags have played about to seed, and have gotten some really bad matchups and locations (Wyoming at New Mexico, Davidson in NC, having to play an unbeatable North Carolina in the s16 with a team that could have gone further; hmmmm...) when they lost to lower seeded teams. In sum they really haven't overachieved or underachieved over the course of 16 years based on seeding.

I don't care for Val's analogy because school competency tests simply measure a combination of knowledge and testing ability; your mind may be sharper on one day than another, but it's not like the difference between a hot or cold shooting day. Anthony Davis isn't gonna block me from marking the correct answer on a multiple choice question. And if 5 guys from Wichita all guess a bunch of answers right at random and have a freakishly high score that day (they made like 2 of 20 3's the previous day and shot low 30's for the season) it doesn't lower my score.

For the above reasons, I watch and enjoy each game of the season with little thought to the future. Of course everybody gets more excited about the tourney, and it's always devastating when the season is over. I allow myself to be devastated for about an hour, and then start thinking about the prospects for next year.

Nice post MK.

Hard to argue any way. I would say that perhaps they've over performed in the sense that, given their mediocre seeds most years, it's quite amazing they so very rarely have lost in the first round. We're very very spoiled in that respect. March isn't much fun if you're bonked on Thurs morning. We rarely experience that. Thank God. We haven't gone deep much, either. So, that washes out.

gonzagafan62
01-29-2015, 04:28 PM
I think people often misinterpret what is meant by calling the tourney a crapshoot. It has nothing to do with making excuses for a loss. It is simply an acknowledgement of the fact that virtually every every team in the tournament can beat anybody else, with the exception of the bottom auto bid teams.

It's a one game scenario, and we see virtually all teams underperform and overperform in a number of games throughout the season. GU lays an egg like they did at Pepperdine (their only really bad game of the season imo; maybe Cal Poly as well) and they lose in the second round this year. Or Arizona plays like they did at OS (who just lost by 20 at ASU) and same result. You can have a hot or cold day at any time for no discernible reason, and then dimwit pundits rate your entire year on that day.

I do acknowledge that there's increased pressure in March and some teams play raise their games and play better while others get tight, and I think the Zags have a tendency to be hurt by playing tight and "not to lose" at times; Tex Tech comes to mind. But overall the Zags have played about to seed, and have gotten some really bad matchups and locations (Wyoming at New Mexico, Davidson in NC, having to play an unbeatable North Carolina in the s16 with a team that could have gone further; hmmmm...) when they lost to lower seeded teams. In sum they really haven't overachieved or underachieved over the course of 16 years based on seeding.

I don't care for Val's analogy because school competency tests simply measure a combination of knowledge and testing ability; your mind may be sharper on one day than another, but it's not like the difference between a hot or cold shooting day. Anthony Davis isn't gonna block me from marking the correct answer on a multiple choice question. And if 5 guys from Wichita all guess a bunch of answers right at random and have a freakishly high score that day (they made like 2 of 20 3's the previous day and shot low 30's for the season) it doesn't lower my score.

For the above reasons, I watch and enjoy each game of the season with little thought to the future. Of course everybody gets more excited about the tourney, and it's always devastating when the season is over. I allow myself to be devastated for about an hour, and then start thinking about the prospects for next year.

Exactly why it's a crapshoot. Great post. March would be great to win but there is nothing like the regular season ... I love it