Each year aback planning out the division examination coverage, I like to try and acquisition all of the angles to allocution about the team: That includes the one cipher anytime wants to allocution about with the Gonzaga Bulldogs. That bend is specifically, what happens if it all goes wrong?
Like the sub arch says up there, you can accusation my connected barbarous actuality as a Seattle Mariners fan on cerebration like that. The Seattle Mariners currently own the longest postseason aridity in able American sports, and the accompaniment of the acreage arrangement and backbone of the antagonism has it attractive added than acceptable that adverse brown-bag-on-head trend continues.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs men’s basketball aggregation is annihilation but that. They’ve been to the “playoffs” (so to speak) of academy basketball every year aback 1999. The program’s success as of backward makes the banal market’s balderdash run attending like comedy money.
But we don’t accept to attending aback too far in Gonzaga’s history to bethink how calmly it can about crumble. The Zags opened the 2015-16 division with a deluge of civic accessories talking about the three-headed beast, the somehow accompanying starting of Przemek Karnowski, Kyle Wiltjer and Domantas Sabonis.
That year, of course, Karnowski went bottomward with a season-ending aback injury. The backcourt as a accomplished was berserk inconsistent, which put Josh Perkins apprentice year struggles beneath a barbarous microscope. The Zags absent to BYU at home, Saint Mary’s twice, and entered the WCC Tournament, for the aboriginal time in anyone’s contempo memory, as a full-fledged balloon aggregation on the amiss ancillary of the bubble. A resume featuring alone a win over Connecticut will do that to you.
In the end, the Zags swept the appointment clash and about plopped their way into the Elite Eight if not for a arresting second-half collapse adjoin the Syracuse Orange.
The 2015-16 division goes to actualization that at any time, it can all abatement apart. Of course, abrasion is a connected blackmail in any sport, and it isn’t advantageous to alike appreciate the catechism of “What if Amateur A goes bottomward this season?” No amateur on the accepted agenda has a history of injuries that would annual worry, such as afresh bottom issues. Although Perkins had offseason accept surgery, all letters are advancing aback with absolute outlooks on his rehabilitation this summer.
So what can go amiss with this squad, honestly? It is adamantine to point to any one thing. The calendar is a absolute alloy of acumen and administration (Josh Perkins) alloyed with the adventuresome ambitions of the adolescent sharpshooters (Zach Norvell). The accession of alum alteration Geno Crandall actually put to blow the one accepted affair of bouncer depth. The agenda is a to bear the Zags affection tests adjoin some of the best teams in the nation.
Perhaps the bigger accident lies in the appellation of this article. Gonzaga nation is aloof one abounding division removed from a civic appellation appearance. The fandom is at a agitation angle calling for excellence, and as we all know, arete in academy basketball can be ever-so-cruelly snatched from the adorable aftertaste of achievement and replaced with the annihilative fetor of defeat during March Madness.
What can accelerate this accomplished division alongside is our expectations that the 2016-17 division can appear all over afresh with the breeze of a finger. I will be altogether cellophane here: I am accepting an absurd time not actually and candidly affairs into the preseason hype. But the Zags accept an actually barbarous non-conference schedule. If the Zags face Duke in the Maui Invitational finals, they will comedy three (most likely) top-10 teams in beneath than a month, and that is not including a alley challenge adjoin Creighton and a abundant bigger Washington Huskies band rolling into Spokane. If I were smart, I’d mentally adapt myself for a few chastening actuality and there.
And that is area it gets tricky. I, like a lot of people, are chanting Final Four or bust, but adage that is a lot easier than authoritative it happen. This is the activity of a Gonzaga Bulldog squad. If the Zags accept too abounding missteps in the non-conference slate, the WCC, as of now, doesn’t accept the aptitude to beacon the seeding.
Before anyone starts to codify the “seeding doesn’t matter” cilia let me stop you appropriate there. Aback the clash broadcast to 16 seeds, top seeds annual for 40.63 percent of the absolute Final Four appearances. No. 2 seeds annual for 20.63 percent and No. 3 seeds for 11.25 percent. Combined, No. 4-16 seeds alone annual for 27.5 percent of absolute Final Four appearances. Odds are, the teams authoritative the Final Four are activity to be one of the top three seeds.
The Zags will activate the year with the accomplished preseason AP baronial in academy history. That abundant is guaranteed. They will be a top-5 aggregation at minimum, possibly top-3, best acceptable additionally accepting a few first-place votes. There has never been as abundant advertising surrounding the band as there is today. So that is what appear if it all goes wrong—we as a fanbase balloon how to action annihilation abbreviate of perfection.
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