College Basketball Talk Top 25: It is time for you to be on board with Gonzaga

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Last Monday, we had to sift through the carnage of a week that saw, roughly, 73 top 25 teams lose.

This week is very different, as the upsets were limited and the big games were won by the teams we expected to win. Duke beat North Carolina at home. UCLA beat Oregon at home. Gonzaga won for the 26th consecutive game.

The result is a top 25 that looks an awful lot like the top 25 we saw last week.

What that means is that on Monday, the biggest talking point is going to be the Selection Committee’s early reveal of the top 16 teams, which didn’t include a single member of the Big Ten – notice where Wisconsin, home losers to Northwestern on Sunday night – and which saw Gonzaga rated as the fourth-best No. 1 seed hours before those same Zags all-but locked up an undefeated regular season with a win at Saint Mary’s.

And to a point, I get it.

Gonzaga is always hyped and never delivers. They play in a conference where the majority of the league is ranked in the triple-digits of every metric and the bottom of the league has multiple teams with crooked numbers in the front. Compare that to the Big East or the Big 12 or the ACC and of course they’re profile is going to look pedestrian. No, Gonzaga is not the only title contender that would run the table in the WCC. Yes, the Zags would have taken a loss or two by now if they played in a high major conference.

No one is saying otherwise.

But don’t act like Gonzaga isn’t No. 1 in KenPom’s rankings. Don’t ignore the fact that they’re the only team in the country with a top five offense and a top five defense. Don’t pretend that you can’t figure out that this is the best defensive team that Mark Few has ever had by a good amount. And don’t overlook the fact that they’ve beaten Arizona (first place in the Pac-12), Florida (first place in the SEC), Iowa State (won at Kansas), Tennessee (beat Kentucky) and swept No. 20 Saint Mary’s by an average margin of 16.5 points.

So you can ignore them when you fill out your bracket if you’d like.
But do not deny what they’ve done this season.

Because given their circumstance, I’m not sure how much more impressive their run this season could be.

Anyway, here’s the top 25:

1. Gonzaga (26-0, Last Week: No. 1)
2. Villanova (24-2, 2)
3. Kansas (22-3, 3)
4. Louisville (20-5, 4)
5. Baylor (22-3, 5)
6. Oregon (22-4, 6)
7. North Carolina (21-5, 7)
8. Arizona (23-3, 9)
9. UCLA (23-3, 10)
10. West Virginia (20-5, 11)
11. Kentucky (20-5, 12)
12. Duke (20-5, 17)
13. Purdue (20-5, 16)
14. Virginia (18-7, 13)
15. Florida (20-5, 20)
16. Wisconsin (21-5, 8)
17. Florida State (21-5, 14)
18. Cincinnati (22-3, 15)
19. SMU (22-4, 22)
20. Notre Dame (19-7, 23)
21. Saint Mary’s (22-3, 18)
22. South Carolina (20-5, 19)
23. Northwestern (19-6, NR)
24. Xavier (18-7, t25)
25. Creighton (21-4, t25)

DROPPED OUT: No. 21 Maryland, No. 24 Iowa State
NEW ADDITIONS: No. 25 Northwestern