As we wind closer and closer to the postseason, let’s take a look at which NCAA Basketball mid-major teams and players stood out this week.
Best Performance, Team – Gonzaga Bulldogs
Are the Gonzaga Bulldogs the best team in the country? I truly don’t know. This college basketball season has been absurd, and I honestly don’t even think this Gonzaga team is necessarily better than last year’s version. But this season’s Zags certainly have a stronger stake to the claim of best team in the nation, and Saturday’s absolute demolition of Saint Mary’s was further proof of that claim.
The Bulldogs went into McKeon Pavillon and handed the Gaels a 90-60 loss, their worst at home since 2001. Saint Mary’s are the presumptive top challengers to Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference this year and have been a top-25 team at times this season. And even with 23 points from star Jordan Ford, the Bulldogs wiped the floor with them. Drew Timme, Gonzaga’s seventh-leading scorer (Gonzaga has seven players averaging in double-figures!), dropped 20 points on nearly perfect shooting (7-8 from the field and 6-6 from the line). For good measure, the Bulldogs also blew out lowly Loyola-Marymount 85-67 at home on Thursday.
Gonzaga sits in second behind Baylor in the latest AP Poll, behind San Diego State in the latest NET rankings, and behind Baylor and Kansas in the first in-season bracket reveal from the NCAA committee. If they take care of business for the rest of the regular season and the WCC Tournament, there’s a chance they could be the number one overall seed. They still have a second game against Saint Mary’s and San Francisco and a road game at BYU, some of the best numbers-boosting wins the WCC has to offer. A top seed is becoming more and more likely.