19. Gonzaga (5-3)
What is wrong with Gonzaga? If we’re looking just at record alone, it’s easy to see 5-3 and panic about these Bulldogs. This team went undefeated into the title game two seasons ago and is rarely challenged, especially in conference play. This season seems different, even with stud Drew Timme back on campus for another year in Spokane.
Their only game of this past week was quite the doozy. The Bulldogs headed to South Dakota to play Baylor, a rematch of that 2021 national title game. Unfortunately for Gonzaga, the same result occurred, as the Bulldogs dropped a 64-63 game that they led late. It was a rough day for the offense, with Timme in particular struggling, though Gonzaga got a nice performance from Malachi Smith, with 16 points off the bench. Anton Watson had 13 points and 13 rebounds but his double-double wasn’t enough against these Bears.
Gonzaga is not right quite yet, but reports of their downfall are quite exaggerated. They’ve lost to three of the very best teams in the nation this season, losing previously to Purdue and Texas in recent weeks. Sure, the offense had its worst game of the season against Baylor, but these kinds of off nights aren’t going to happen on a regular basis. The Bulldogs will look to bounce back at home, with games against Kent State and Washington in the coming weeks; though even these home games come against teams that have looked solid at times this year.