Will Gonzaga Go Undefeated This College Basketball Season?

Posted by Kenny Bell on Monday,January 23, 2017 12:43, EDT in

The last team to finish a college basketball season unbeaten was the 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers. That group was selected as the greatest college basketball team of all-time on the 75th anniversary of the NCAA tournament in 2013. Also that year, Scott May, Kent Benson and Isiah Thomas were recognized in a ceremony for being named as some of the greatest players in the 75-year history of the NCAA Tournament. Only one team has a chance to join IU in the unbeaten club this year and that’s No. 4 Gonzaga. Let’s take a look at the March Madness predictions for this team.

Will Gonzaga Go Undefeated This College Basketball Season?

Wisconsin shot 47.9 percent from the floor — 13 points higher than what Kentucky allowed during the season — and went 10 for 20 from 3-point range. The Badgers, ranked 262nd in the country in offensive rebounding that season, finished with 12 to only six for Kentucky. It helped explain how Kentucky could lose despite shooting 48 percent itself and committing only six turnovers. The Wildcats closed the season at 38-1. That NBA-ready group joined the star-studded 1991 UNLV team as the latest to take an undefeated record into the Final Four but lose in the semifinals. Wisconsin would lose to Duke in the national championship game.

One reason that Gonzaga, off to the best start in school history at 19-0, has a good chance to make it to the Big Dance without a loss is that it is head and shoulders better than anyone else in the mid-major West Coast Conference. In the 18 years since the Zags made their first Elite Eight run, there have been 27 coaching changes in the WCC. Seventeen of those were firings; in just three cases did coaches moveon to better jobs, though only one – Dan Monson of GU to Minnesota – involved a Power 5 school.

The Bulldogs are outscoring their opponents by an average of 21.7 points per game, the third-highest margin in the nation. However, Mark Few’s team isn’t just an offensive juggernaut — it’s excellent on the defensive end as well. Gonzaga is second in the nation in net efficiency (plus-30.2) and is one of just two teams in Division I that is ranked in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency.

The toughest test left on Gonzaga’s schedule is a rematch against St. Mary’s on Feb. 11. The road contest is the only remaining game on the Zags’ schedule in which ESPN’s BPI gives them less than 50 percent chance of winning.

Gonzaga Bulldogs Season Betting Prediction:

Barring injury, I do believe this team will reach the Big Dance without a loss. But it won’t get to the Final Four.