clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NCAA Tournament 2017: Stop being stupid. Pick Gonzaga.

Gonzaga was gifted a soft regional and the Bulldogs are a good team. Don’t be dumb.

NCAA Basketball: West Coast Conference Tournament-Gonzaga vs Saint Mary's Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, you.

Yeah, you, the person who thinks they’re so much smarter than everyone else.

Gonzaga isn’t going to lose to South Dakota State. Sorry.

I love South Dakota State, too! Well, not really. They ruined my dreams of having a team that has never made the tournament before earn a bid, be it Nebraska-Omaha or South Dakota, and I will never forgive Mike Daum for that.

Oh yeah, Mike Daum is on SDSU and he’s crazy freaking good. But still. It won’t matter. Gonzaga is going to win this game and they are going to win it easily.

“Gonzaga is actually bad” is a fun cottage industry. Look at all of these phenomenal takes that were fired off just as the selection committee finished its job.

There is one fundamental problem with these takes: Gonzaga is really, really good at basketball.

Gonzaga has played 20 games against teams better than South Dakota State. They won 19 of those, virtually all of them easily. Gonzaga is built to crush bad teams. They’re big enough to punish small front lines, they’re athletic enough to blow past guards. They can run, the can punish you on defense, and they’re deep. Gonzaga deserves your respect, and they’ll have it after three or four games this March.

For what it’s worth, Gonzaga doesn’t seem to be the 1 seed most susceptible to losing to a bad team. North Carolina’s loss to Georgia Tech is worse than Gonzaga’s loss to BYU, according to KenPom anyway. But you won’t see people so hot to trot to pick Texas Southern to pull the upset, even though they spent two months on the road, playing a far greater number of top teams than SDSU did.

Gonzaga’s #DISRESPEKT is nonsensical, and it’s comical. What about the Zags’ handling of Florida, Iowa State, and Arizona on neutral floors makes you think they’re prime for an upset? Gonzaga’s done nothing but stack up bodies since November.

They’re so good, guys. They’re really, really good.

They were also given a really soft bracket.

They’re surrounded by teams that are flawed in one way or another. Gonzaga is balanced enough to run with West Virginia, or shoot with Notre Dame, or play bully ball with Northwestern. The committee, by accident (most likely since they screwed everything up again) or on purpose gave one of the best teams in the country one of the easiest roads to the Final Four. They’ve even already beaten Arizona, the 2 seed in their region!

A lot of people in your bracket pool are going to pick Gonzaga to bounce out early. Those people think they’re smarter than you. They are not, and this is the year you get your revenge. Play the odds that no one recognizes are the best odds and pick Gonzaga to go deep into your bracket. If nothing else, you get to root for the best and burliest of boys in Przemek Karnowski. That in itself is worth a great deal.

Don’t be too smart. Don’t be dumb. Pick the best team to win the most games. Pick Gonzaga.