Slipper Still Fits Gonzaga in NCAA Tournament - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Slipper Still Fits Gonzaga in NCAA Tournament

Posted:
Keep the doubters coming, Sam Adams believes Kevin Pangos and the Zags enjoy the underdog roll. Keep the doubters coming, Sam Adams believes Kevin Pangos and the Zags enjoy the underdog roll.

Last year, everyone was throwing rose pedals on Gonzaga going into the NCAA Tournament. This year, they're all throwing dirt.

The bracket prognosticators on ESPN, CBS, and the rest are proclaiming Oklahoma State (Gonzaga's opening round opponent) as the Cinderella of the West Region. They see #1 seed Arizona ripe for the taking for a trip to the Sweet 16, with not much else standing between the Cowboys and a trip to the Final 4. All of that may be true, except for one team: Gonzaga.

Have we forgotten that the Zags beat Oklahoma State on the road in Stillwater last season? Have we forgotten that Gonzaga is 5-0 all-time against the Cowboys? Have we forgotten GU hasn't lost an opening round game at an NCAA Tournament since they got Stephed (Steph Curry) by Davidson in Raleigh, North Carolina?

This is not last year's Gonzaga team. They had two NBA caliber players in the front court. Kelly Olynyk turned into a lottery pick, and Elias Harris had a dalliance with the LA Lakers before moving to his native Germany to play pro basketball. But with all due respect to Olynyk and Harris, this year's iteration of the Bulldogs has an opportunity to do even better than the 2012-13 squad when it matters most.

First and foremost, Gonzaga is playing its best basketball of the season. They totally dismantled a St. Mary's team that had legitimate NCAA Tournament aspirations twice down the stretch -- once in Moraga and again in Las Vegas. They manhandled a BYU squad that earned a 10-seed in the NCAA's this year, the 75-64 tournament-clinching win not nearly as close as the score would indicate.

So, what's the difference? Why should people be singing the praises of Gonzaga and not Oklahoma State? One, we all know an NBA lottery pick player doesn't guarantee postseason success. Gonzaga learned that the hard way last season, and Oklahoma State will find that out this season with Marcus Smart.

Two, defense. If you saw the WCC Tournament Championship game against BYU, you know GU is more than capable of making stops. They held the Cougars to 27 first half points and 35% shooting for the ballgame. If not for an extraordinary 11-for-11 effort from the free throw line, Tyler Haws would've been held well below his 23.4 scoring average.

Last, but not least, expectations. Or lack thereof. After heaping nothing but praise to go along with a #1 seed and overall ranking upon the Zags a year ago, the national media is selling Gonzaga stock faster than you can say "Enron." This is where we all know Gonzaga thrives. The underdog. The Cinderella. And basketball fans, I'm here to tell you, the slipper still fits.

Gonzaga is finding ways to win without Kevin Pangos being at 100%. Sam Dower Jr. is coming on strong, averaging 17.5 points and 9 rebounds in 4 games during the month of March. And there's a supporting cast with David Stockton, Gary Bell Jr, Przemek Karnowski, Drew Barham and the rest, all capable of big games.

To those piling on the dirt, calling Gonzaga dead before the Tournament starts, my message to you is this: Keep Digging. Because the more you dig, the deeper your own hole is going to be.

  • Sam's Sports BlogMore>>

  • Reviewing OOTP '15, Mariners Still Break Hearts in Baseball Video Game

    Reviewing OOTP '15, Mariners Still Break Hearts in Baseball Video Game

    This lengthy build-up leads me to one sincere question: Did the 2001 season doom the Seattle Mariners franchise? If the M's had won the World Series that year, would we be talking about a dynasty? Out of the Park Baseball 15 allows baseball fans to answer that question.
    This lengthy build-up leads me to one sincere question: Did the 2001 season doom the Seattle Mariners franchise? If the M's had won the World Series that year, would we be talking about a dynasty? Out of the Park Baseball 15 allows baseball fans to answer that question.

  • Sam Adams Live in San Diego Pt. 2

    Sam Adams Live in San Diego Pt. 2

    Some have said Gonzaga has under performed in recent NCAA Tournaments. But consider this as the Bulldogs prepare for their opening round matchup against Oklahoma State: The Zags haven’t gone one-and-done recently, at least since 2008...
    Some have said Gonzaga has under performed in recent NCAA Tournaments. But consider this as the Bulldogs prepare for their opening round matchup against Oklahoma State: The Zags haven’t gone one-and-done recently, at least since 2008...
  • Slipper Still Fits Gonzaga in NCAA Tournament

    Slipper Still Fits Gonzaga in NCAA Tournament

    Last year, everyone was throwing rose pedals on Gonzaga going into the NCAA Tournament. This year, they're all throwing dirt.The bracket prognosticators on ESPN, CBS, and the rest are proclaiming Oklahoma State (Gonzaga's opening round opponent) as the Cinderella of the West Region...
    Last year, everyone was throwing rose pedals on Gonzaga going into the NCAA Tournament. This year, they're all throwing dirt.The bracket prognosticators on ESPN, CBS, and the rest are proclaiming Oklahoma State (Gonzaga's opening round opponent) as the Cinderella of the West Region...
  • SWX Blog RollMore>>

  • SWX Producer Remembers His Earliest Bloomsday's

    SWX Producer Remembers His Earliest Bloomsday's

    As the 38th running of Bloomsday draws nearer, it brought back some memories from my childhood. Growing up in Issaquah, Washington, I didn’t make it to Spokane very often for the event, but every time I did, it was a special experience to share with family.
    As the 38th running of Bloomsday draws nearer, it brought back some memories from my childhood. Growing up in Issaquah, Washington, I didn’t make it to Spokane very often for the event, but every time I did, it was a special experience to share with family.
  • What Does Russell Wilson's Divorce Mean for the Seahawks in 2014

    What Does Russell Wilson's Divorce Mean for the Seahawks in 2014

    After the Seattle Seahawks announced a statement for their Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson that he was filing for divorce from his wife, only one question popped into my head. What is going to happen to Danger-Russ on the field? 
    After the Seattle Seahawks announced a statement for their Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson that he was filing for divorce from his wife, only one question popped into my head. What is going to happen to Danger-Russ on the field? 
  • Russell Wilson, The Most Underpaid QB on the Seahawks Roster

    Russell Wilson, The Most Underpaid QB on the Seahawks Roster

    Russell Wilson has won a Super Bowl, been to the Pro Bowl twice, gone 5-1 in the playoffs, hasn't missed a single game in his two years in the league, thrown 52 touchdowns to his 19 interceptions and will be the lowest-paid quarterback on the Seattle Seahawks' roster in 2014.
    Russell Wilson has won a Super Bowl, been to the Pro Bowl twice, gone 5-1 in the playoffs, hasn't missed a single game in his two years in the league, thrown 52 touchdowns to his 19 interceptions and will be the lowest-paid quarterback on the Seattle Seahawks' roster in 2014.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • INCREDIBLE drone video shows fire destruction over Pateros/Brewster

    INCREDIBLE drone video shows fire destruction over Pateros/Brewster

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:51 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:51:52 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Chelan HD Productions has given us permission to show this incredible video they shot with a drone surveying the damage done from the Carlton Complex Fire in the areas of Brewster and Pateros. This video is truly jaw dropping and really shows the level of destruction from the fire.
    KHQ.COM - Chelan HD Productions has given us permission to show this incredible video they shot with a drone surveying the damage done from the Carlton Complex Fire in the areas of Brewster and Pateros. This video is truly jaw dropping and really shows the level of destruction from the fire.
  • Shock Pull Out Win In Portland, 45-40

    Shock Pull Out Win In Portland, 45-40

    The Spokane Shock (11-7) closed out their 2014 regular season with a 45-40 victory over the Portland Thunder (5-13) on Saturday night in the Moda Center.Spokane starting quarterback Brian Zbydniewski finished the game 22-37 for 259 yards and five touchdowns through the air.
    The Spokane Shock (11-7) closed out their 2014 regular season with a 45-40 victory over the Portland Thunder (5-13) on Saturday night in the Moda Center.Spokane starting quarterback Brian Zbydniewski finished the game 22-37 for 259 yards and five touchdowns through the air.
  • SWX on TV

    SWX on TV

    SWX Right Now can be seen both over-the-air and through some cable services in the Spokane-Coeur d-Alene, Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, and Yakima viewership areas.
    SWX Right Now can be seen both over-the-air and through some cable services in the Spokane-Coeur d-Alene, Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, and Yakima viewership areas.

    Click here to find out how to watch SWX on your TV!

Powered by WorldNow

Features

  • More Features
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Cowles Montana Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.