30 second game guide
Bring’em Out: No. 13/9 (AP/Coaches polls) Gonzaga Bulldogs 21-5 (9-2 WCC) vs. Pepperdine Waves 7-20 (3-8 WCC) at the Firestone Fieldhouse at 6 p.m. on FOX.
Watch for: Where GU will land in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, because it’s not going to be Spokane. Just when the Bulldogs start to show they may have things figured out, they go and lay an egg at LMU, leaving GU fans scratching their heads. The selection committee won’t take kindly to a pair of WCC losses to bottom-tier teams. It’s time to return to pounding conference foes, starting with the Waves on Saturday.
Fear: The Bulldogs inconsistency. I was clearly wrong in my prediction the Zags would cruise through the rest of the season into the NCAA’s unscathed. Gonzaga has a very short amount of time to get its mind right before hitting the most important stretch of the season. Believe it or not, Pepperdine has the ability to test GU. Just ask Keion Bell who hung 34 of his 37 points on the Zags in the second half of the first meeting in the Kennel.
Respect: Gonzaga’s ability to show it can get back up after being knocked down. Following the San Francisco loss, the Bulldogs looked like the top-10 power they have the capability to be. Unfortunately, it only lasted four games. There’s no question GU will be in the field of 65 in mid-March, but in order to advance to 32, 16 or further, these types of performances need to disappear with Thursday’s dud at LMU.
Random Stuff: Pepperdine’s lost eight straight games after starting the WCC season 3-0. GU has won 16 straight over the Waves, with the last loss coming in Malibu in 2002 (79-88). The Zags were ranked 14th at the time.