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yoco :: College Basketball
(a sports weblog) news and commentary on men's college basketball and the ncaa tournament

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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Turning the Corner

Mark Few does not coach a "mid-major." Win or lose tonight, Gonzaga has turned the corner. Not because the 'Zags are a Top 10 squad. Or because they've had success in the NCAA Tournament for several years in a row.

But because the 'Zags no longer face the same scheduling difficulties as do "mid-majors." The proof was in the pudding this summer, before Few turned down Stanford.

Georgia Tech making a trip out West. Oklahoma State welcoming the 'Zags to Stillwater. Illinois agreeing to a game in Indianapolis. No longer do schools fear being upset by a Cinderella. Rather, a game against Gonzaga is seen as a significant test for the opponent, a loss part of the territory. Scheduling Gonzaga is akin to matching up against Arizona, Maryland, Illinois or Syracuse; a coach knows his team will get a workout against a Top 25 team -- and, win or lose, be better off for it.

The Few. The Proud. The 'Zags.

Gonzaga: The WCC's "Major" program.