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Thread: Which "Mid-Major" basketball team has had more consistent success for any 20 years?

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    Default Which "Mid-Major" basketball team has had more consistent success for any 20 years?

    Besides San Francisco Dons?
    I will attempt a definition of mid major ONLY for the purposes of this question, as
    a D1, NCAA basketball team not considered to belong to a top 5 conference of its time, by a concensus of national sports commentators of that time.
    If we continue our winning ways for another 15 years we could eclipse USF who more or less was in the national conversation as relevant from 1949 to 1982.
    If we continue our winning ways of the years 1999 to now for 15 more years we would certainly be more consistently at the top the conference, and playing in the Dance. However, without a National Championship USF arguments could be legitimately asserted.

    What other mid major besides USF and GU have come close to our accomplishment?
    Is the WCC the only conference to host a competitor for this status?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZagsGoZags View Post
    Besides San Francisco Dons?
    I will attempt a definition of mid major ONLY for the purposes of this question, as
    a D1, NCAA basketball team not considered to belong to a top 5 conference of its time, by a concensus of national sports commentators of that time.
    If we continue our winning ways for another 15 years we could eclipse USF who more or less was in the national conversation as relevant from 1949 to 1982.
    If we continue our winning ways of the years 1999 to now for 15 more years we would certainly be more consistently at the top the conference, and playing in the Dance. However, without a National Championship USF arguments could be legitimately asserted.

    What other mid major besides USF and GU have come close to our accomplishment?
    Is the WCC the only conference to host a competitor for this status?
    No disrespect to USF but they never did what Gonzaga has done over a 20 year period. They did win it all and that's nothing to sneeze at. But Gonzaga has already eclipsed them in terms of consistency and longevity of excellence.

    And to answer the op's question: no "mid major" has ever done what Gonzaga has done. Closest would be Butler, UNLV and to a lesser extent Wichita State. But none come close to what GU has done over a 20 year span. USF won its title back before we even had a 32 team bracket let alone a 68 team bracket. No shot clock. No three pointers. It was a different time.

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    not even before WWII?

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    The correct answer is Temple.

    They won two NIT championships when it was "the" championship tournament.
    They went to two NCAA final fours
    They have Eight elite 8's

    They are 5th all-time in wins behind Kentucky, Kansas, NC and Duke.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyZag View Post
    The correct answer is Temple.

    They won two NIT championships when it was "the" championship tournament.
    They went to two NCAA final fours
    They have Eight elite 8's

    They are 5th all-time in wins behind Kentucky, Kansas, NC and Duke.
    While I agree with Temple (long-term) you can't undersell the Dons .... back to back to back Final Fours (which included 2 National Championships) and they have one less (7) Elite 8 than Temple.

    I have to tip my cap to both programs.

    "To be continued ....."
    Father Tony Lehman, SJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoZags View Post
    While I agree with Temple (long-term) you can't undersell the Dons .... back to back to back Final Fours (which included 2 National Championships) and they have one less (7) Elite 8 than Temple.

    I have to tip my cap to both programs.
    No way we've surpassed USF yet.

    USF was more successful over a longer period of time. If GU keeps it up for another decade, and wins a couple national championships, then maybe you could say GU has surpassed USF.

    The fact that the tournament was smaller back then does not make the Dons' success less impressive. The tournament is not harder because it's longer: last year our first round game was against Farliegh Dickinson (I had to look it up). Plus, it used to be a lot harder to qualify for the tournament.

    Even over 20, it's not that close really.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Valley Zag View Post
    No way we've surpassed USF yet.

    USF was more successful over a longer period of time. If GU keeps it up for another decade, and wins a couple national championships, then maybe you could say GU has surpassed USF.

    The fact that the tournament was smaller back then does not make the Dons' success less impressive. The tournament is not harder because it's longer: last year our first round game was against Farliegh Dickinson (I had to look it up). Plus, it used to be a lot harder to qualify for the tournament.

    Even over 20, it's not that close really.
    You've quoted me, but try as I might I can't see where I've said that GU has "surpassed the Dons".

    Edited to say .... I see where I "missed" a few words in the OP ... i.e. "Besides San Francisco Dons" so the bottom line is USF didn't need my "defense" ... the OP recognized their incredible accomplishments.

    "To be continued ....."
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    I wasn't implying you had. You were just the most recent word comparing GU and USF.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Valley Zag View Post
    I wasn't implying you had. You were just the most recent word comparing GU and USF.
    USF reaches the promised land, but I wouldn’t agree that they were successful for longer.

    Anyways, it’s really difficult to compare players across decades, and the same is true of teams. Temple had a dynasty, USF had a dynasty and GU currently has a dynasty.

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    It is difficult to compare across eras, but USF went to the tournament regularly over a thirty year period, when it was harder to make it. We've only been going for twenty.

    Sure, we've gone EVERY year while USF missed it some years, but, again, fewer teams qualified back then. Plus, USF won the whole thing twice and went to twice as many elite eights as GU too (I think).

    Now, all that said, the past is the past and the present is the present and there's no way I'd want to trade places with USF.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Valley Zag View Post
    It is difficult to compare across eras, but USF went to the tournament regularly over a thirty year period, when it was harder to make it. We've only been going for twenty.

    Sure, we've gone EVERY year while USF missed it some years, but, again, fewer teams qualified back then. Plus, USF won the whole thing twice and went to twice as many elite eights as GU too (I think).

    Now, all that said, the past is the past and the present is the present and there's no way I'd want to trade places with USF.
    They were by no means dominant over three decades (lots of holes) and I do not agree that it was harder to make the tournament at that time. Fewer slots but also fewer D1 teams. It also was easier to win it back then given fewer teams.

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    IF USF wasn't dominant, then neither are we. Dominating means being the best by a lot. We've never been the best by even a little.

    Sure there are more D1 teams now, but those new teams aren't our competition. The top basketball programs today all existed back then too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Valley Zag View Post
    IF USF wasn't dominant, then neither are we. Dominating means being the best by a lot. We've never been the best by even a little.

    Sure there are more D1 teams now, but those new teams aren't our competition. The top basketball programs today all existed back then too.
    GU was good during the duration of the last 22 years. USF was not good for a thirty year streak, as you suggested in your statement that USF was better for longer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Valley Zag View Post
    IF USF wasn't dominant, then neither are we. Dominating means being the best by a lot. We've never been the best by even a little.

    Sure there are more D1 teams now, but those new teams aren't our competition. The top basketball programs today all existed back then too.
    Your second paragraph doesn’t make sense. Back then, a great many programs spent nothing on the programs. By that metric, it’s much more challenging in today’s environment. Again, it’s difficult to compare across decades, which goes back to my initial comment.

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    Finally, Gonzaga has 22 conference regular season championships since 1994. USF has 16 since 1955, before GU was even in the conference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Valley Zag View Post
    IF USF wasn't dominant, then neither are we. Dominating means being the best by a lot. We've never been the best by even a little.

    Sure there are more D1 teams now, but those new teams aren't our competition. The top basketball programs today all existed back then too.
    Remember...the OP is Mid Major, not general D1 teams. Gonzaga has been the best Mid Major, by a lot, consistently. Maybe they haven't as many FF or NC appearances as some schools. but NO OTHER MID MAJOR HAS MADE THE MARCH MADNESS EVERY YEAR FOR 20 YEARS IN A ROW.
    Hoping you have a sense of humor too!

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    Quote Originally Posted by willandi View Post
    Remember...the OP is Mid Major, not general D1 teams. Gonzaga has been the best Mid Major, by a lot, consistently. Maybe they haven't as many FF or NC appearances as some schools. but NO OTHER MID MAJOR HAS MADE THE MARCH MADNESS EVERY YEAR FOR 20 YEARS IN A ROW.
    I’ll go out on a limb and say 22-years (which, of course, assumes we go this year)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZagsObserver View Post
    I’ll go out on a limb and say 22-years (which, of course, assumes we go this year)
    I'd rather we missed the tournament every now and then but won two national championships in that time frame. I think most fans would, but I don't know. To be clear, I'm not complaining about the last 20 so years. Two thumbs up.

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    Ask San Franciso fans what they would prefer -- 2 national championships 1955/56-- but the last time they danced is 1998 -- and it may be another 22 years until they dance again. Last time they had put a player in the NBA is 1983.

    I'll take what the Zags are doing and enjoy it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zagdawg View Post
    Ask San Franciso fans what they would prefer -- 2 national championships 1955/56-- but the last time they danced is 1998 -- and it may be another 22 years until they dance again. Last time they had put a player in the NBA is 1983.

    I'll take what the Zags are doing and enjoy it.
    Oh for sure. I'll take great now over great in the past.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zagdawg View Post
    Ask San Franciso fans what they would prefer -- 2 national championships 1955/56-- but the last time they danced is 1998 -- and it may be another 22 years until they dance again. Last time they had put a player in the NBA is 1983.

    I'll take what the Zags are doing and enjoy it.
    Right - make that once in the last 38 years!

    The uninterrupted greatness is really unprecedented among mid-majors, present or past.

    USFs championships during an era long ago should be applauded too. They’ve both done things they probably shouldn’t have as a mid major. I’ll take what the Zags have done during an era where it’s very tough to go up the resources and recruitment of a blue blood. Others will take the NC. Both are fine.

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    As to the OP's question, I'm going to say St. Mary's. Over the past 23 years, they have danced many times, both in the NIT and NCAA. Were it not for the Zags, they would be the top dog in the WCC.
    WE HAVE A GOAL -- WE HAVE A MISSION -- SPOKANE, STAPLES, ATLANTA

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    Quote Originally Posted by SorenTodd45 View Post
    As to the OP's question, I'm going to say St. Mary's. Over the past 23 years, they have danced many times, both in the NIT and NCAA. Were it not for the Zags, they would be the top dog in the WCC.
    They’ve been amazing given their low resource pool. Arguably, it’s a head scratcher that they’ve been able to do it for this long.

    But in absolute terms, they’ve made the round of 32 twice over the last 23 years you note.

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    Speaking of Temple, don’t sleep on the hawk, which will never die. But appears comatose this season.

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    All I know, which isn't much, is that GU has played in more NCAA tournaments in the last 25 years than any other school in the West...now that is saying something...

    USF has not been a relevant name in D1 basketball since Cartwright & Co. graduated and that team was so talented but could not play well together...

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