Busting Brackets

Gonzaga Basketball: 4 biggest takeaways from 9-4 start through 2023-24 season

Gonzaga Basketball starts WCC play, with plenty of work to do. Here are some takeaways from the Bulldogs' non-conference results.

Continental Tire Seattle Tip-Off - Connecticut v Gonzaga
Continental Tire Seattle Tip-Off - Connecticut v Gonzaga / Conor Courtney/GettyImages
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4. Gonzaga Basketball’s current resume

For the past five years, the Bulldogs haven’t had to worry about being an at-large team in the NCAA Tournament. They were usually fighting for a 1 seed in the West Region. However, except for a future Kentucky matchup, the Bulldogs will not have gotten a Quad 1 victory heading to WCC play.

Gonzaga is 0-4 against Quad 1 foes, which is bad for a power conference team. Right now, the team has a NET ranking of 57, behind both San Francisco (39) and Saint Mary’s (52). They are 2-0 against Quad 2 opponents, beating USC and Syracuse in neutral-site matchups.

Here’s the concern. All three of Gonzaga’s top wins have been disappointments compared to preseason expectations, especially the Los Angeles schools. Syracuse and USC’s NET ranking is around 90 and is in danger of falling to the “Quad 3” tier, which would hurt Gonzaga even more.

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Outside of Santa Clara on the road, the Bulldogs have Quad 1 and 2 games against USF and SMC, with the rest being in the Quad 4 range (LMU on the road could become Quad 3). More than ever, Gonzaga Basketball needs to avoid having any bad losses because this time around, there aren’t signature victories to overcome them.