Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Forget past chokes, it’s Gonzaga’s time to win the Chip

Gonzaga’s Drew Timme reacts to a play against the Creighton in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Gonzaga’s Drew Timme reacts to a play against the Creighton in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Image: AP

Let’s be honest with ourselves: The NCAA Championship has been Gonzaga’s to lose all season, and as the tourney starts to wrap up, the same things we knew about this team in October still ring true today.

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They have one of the most efficient offenses in the country. They have big, versatile guards that pass, dribble, and shoot effectively. And they have a frontline that strikes fear into opponents night in and night out.

Gonzaga is leading the nation in scoring points per game, field goal percentage, and scoring margin. They are also second in the country in assists per game.

Oh, and by the way, did I mention that they are still undefeated at 29-0?

They did all of this in a season that was as unpredictable as we’ve seen in recent memory, with COVID-19 and then the myriad upsets that transpired early in this NCAA tournament (including fellow 1-seed Illinois in round two).

During the tournament, the Zags have beaten every opponent they’ve played by more than 16 points. Beaten being the operative word. Gonzaga has dominated teams in this tourney so thoroughly with their skill and size, it hardly seems fair.

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Potential top-five NBA draft pick Jalen Suggs has played well along with Corey Kispert and Drew Timme, who are both averaging more than 18 points a game.

I understand the reluctance to believe in Gonzaga — they’ve folded so many times in the past. And as a West Coast team, not many people got to watch them this year. But I’m telling you, we might as well wrap this up right now, the Chip is theirs for the taking. It would take a perfect game to even conceive of any other outcome.

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This has been one of the most impressive runs that I’ve seen from a college team in recent memory. The last team I can remember on a roll this dominant was the 2014-15 Kentucky team that lost in the Final Four to a Wisconsin side led by Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker — and who played a perfect game to beat ’em.

I don’t see this Zags team suffering the same fate as those Wildcats. Mark Few’s players are a more cohesive unit, and, frankly, they might be more explosive than that John Calipari-led team.

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It’s Gonzaga’s time to finally win a chip. This is the team that will do it. Let’s all stop fooling ourselves, please.