Posted: 9:00 a.m. Thursday, March 7, 2013
By Avinash Kunnath
It has been a long time since a West Coast team has been the top ranked team in the country, but how well do you think Gonzaga would be doing this season if they played in the Pac-12?
NorcalNick, California Golden Blogs: I haven't seen enough of the Zags to give a good answer. We have one datapoint, a close escape against Washington State. That isn't the best evidence that Gonzaga would tear through the conference, but it's also one game a long time ago. Certainly, their statistical profile indicates that they would probably win the regular season title. But I think they would certainly lose a few games, and wouldn't be so good that random variance couldn't cost them the title in the right circumstances.
Jack Follman, Pacific Takes: I think they would be at the top of the conference standings, but not nearly as highly-ranked overall as they are as they would drop a few in-conference games as opposed to running over everyone in the WCC. I actually think they are a very similar to Oregon, but with Kelly Olynyk being the difference, he is the guy that puts them over the top. I think they are like if you added Brock Motum to Oregon basically.
David Piper, Addicted to Quack: Gonzaga would win the Pac-12 this season, but would not be ranked No. 1. They have a really balanced team, which is the secret to their success. Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris pound you down low, while Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell rain threes and keep an inside-outside balance. But there are teams in this conference that match-up a lot better with them than anyone in the WCC does, and Oregon and Colorado, which pair deep front courts with versatile defenders on the perimeter, could pull off upsets against the Zags.
Adam Butler, Pac Hoops: I really think the UW-UCLA game could be fascinating. If Colorado manages to knock off Oregon then the Bruins will take to Hec-Ed knowing they fully control their own destiny. And even if Oregon does prevail, UCLA should be expected to win this game in which case they're no doubt playing for significant NCAA seeding. Not that they'd stand a ton to gain, but certainly ground to lose. It's also going to be played on CBS and how can you not love March basketball on CBS?