Gonzaga: An 11th Seed in Name Only
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It's no secret that the Rating Percentage Index is a stat that feeds on itself.
For years, the Zags have utilized the philosophy of going anywhere possible -- usually neutral-court sites -- to schedule Power Fives in the non-con portion of their schedule.
Still, any stumble of any sort -- in spite of key injuries -- and they're toast if they don't earn an automatic berth.
It's also well established that the usual high-water mark for mid-major champs is a No 12 seed. But Gonzaga's built itself into a nationally-recognizable name. What's that intangible worth?
Well, tell Seton Hall about 11 seeds:
And that was an off-game. Mark Few cleaned a few things up on Friday, and voilà!
It's back to the Sweet 16.
And really, who's surprised at this? RPI numbers are too impersonal for that, so they're joining most Madness fans from a different angle.
Most fans would also agree there's now enough parity in the game for the Big Dance to stop filling brackets with the privileged classes.
For their part, West Coast Conference teams are collectively raising their expectations. With only BYU and Saint Mary's offering resistance to Gonzaga's annual automatic berth anointment, four of the WCC's other seven teams are seeking new coaches. Plus, Stanford is giving a hard look at the Gaels' Randy Bennett.
It's 'way past time for the Committee to accept progress and update its perspective.