Gonzaga Forward Kelly Olynyk
Well it’s finally happened, a mid-major team, the Gonzaga Bulldogs are ranked above everyone else in Division-I college basketball.
Some say it’s been a long time coming, and other still don’t believe in them, but right now all that matters is what the Associated Press and Coaches think; that is, the Bulldogs earned the right to tote the number one moniker.
It’s tough to argue against them right now. It’s also tough to name what state they play in, but currently they’ve won 13 games in a row, and are undefeated in conference play (16-0).
It is the first time any West Coast Conference team achieved that feat.
ESPN’s Seth Greenberg says, “They’re a complete team,” claiming to have said it since November.
Seven-footer Kelly Olynyk has a lot to do with the team’s success averaging over 17 points per game while shooting the ball over 66-percent.
Many experts challenge the fact of the division Gonzaga plays in seeing how the Bulldogs are the only ranked team in there conference.
To refute that point Greenberg adds that they have a better record versus the top 100 RPI than Indiana.
Gonzaga first made their first splash as a Cinderella in 1999 advancing all the way to the elite-8.
Since that point they’ve been a conference favorite almost every year, and have added a few more sweet-16s to their resume.
But again, this is the first time for a number one ranking.
Over the past few years other teams have gained success from the mid-major level as well.
Butler made back-to-back National Championship games in 2010 and 11, and everyone thought they just focused on their lacrosse program.
Virginia Commonwealth and George Mason have seen success as well.
Trends seem to show that mid-major teams are on the rise, and it’s no longer only about the perennial powerhouses.
Whatever the case is, it will be interesting to see how, Gonzaga, the team from Spokane, Washington fares.