Gonzaga became the symbol for small school success when it reached the regional final in 1999. Times have changed for the Zags, though; no longer fit for a glass slipper, they ended the regular season ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll and garnered the top seed in the West Region. March Madness NCAA Tournament Odds also have the Bulldogs listed as one of the favorites (10-1 odds) to win the Men’s National Championship.
Gonzaga produced an incredible 31-2 record this season and it went a perfect 16-0 in West Coast Conference play to win its league title.
Nonetheless, many still have their doubts about the Zags ability to win their region much less the National Championship. Most of the uncertainty in regard to Gonzaga has to do with its weak closing slate.
The West Coast Conference features some quality teams in Saint Mary’s, BYU, and Santa Clara in addition to Gonzaga, but the rest of the league is suspect at best. Despite playing against mostly questionable competition for the better part of two months, the Bulldogs did go a long way toward proving themselves in non-conference play.
Gonzaga topped NCAA Tournament qualifiers in Oklahoma, Davidson, Pacific, Kansas State, and Oklahoma State by an average of 14.8 points per game. The Zags two losses also came against tourney teams as they fell 85-74 to Illinois and 64-63 to Butler.
Gonzaga opens tournament play on Thursday afternoon against 16 seed Southern University at the Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City. Should the Bulldogs advance, which is all but a given, they will face either Wichita State or Pittsburgh.
March Madness NCAA Tournament Odds: Gonzaga Bulldogs
Odds to win 2013 NCAA Men’s National Championship 10/1 ($100 wins $1000)
Odds to win the West Region 12/5 ($100 wins $240)
Odds to be the first No. 1 seed eliminated from the NCAA Tournament +150 (two of four)
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