Gonzaga was No. 1 within the preseason Related Press High 25 ballot. Baylor was No. 2. So the Zags and Bears giving us the forty third No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup ever, simply 11 days into this season, is not stunning. As soon as the sport was scheduled, and the preliminary ballot revealed, it was all the time purported to be this fashion. However, that mentioned, that is nonetheless wild. As a result of, from a historic perspective, Saturday’s showdown in Indianapolis actually may be probably the most unlikely No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in school basketball historical past.
Take into consideration the place these packages as soon as have been.
When Mark Few took over at Gonzaga, prematurely of the 1999-2000 season, the Zags had superior in precisely one NCAA Match ever. Regardless, Few guided the Zags to the Candy Sixteen in his first season and has made actually each NCAA Match since. He is been to 5 straight Candy Sixteens, three of the previous 5 Elite Eights, and he coached within the title sport of the 2017 NCAA Match. So, undeniably, Gonzaga is now one of many sport’s greatest manufacturers. However when Few received the job, this was only a small non-public faculty from the West Coast Convention, not even a blip on school basketball’s nationwide radar.
Baylor’s story is equally nice.
When Scott Drew took over, prematurely of the 2003-04 season, this system was in shambles due to a scandal tied to at least one participant murdering one other. The Bears completed next-to-last, final, final, and next-to-last in Drew’s first 4 seasons, the third of which was lowered to conference-only video games due to NCAA sanctions. Regardless, Drew guided the Bears to the NCAA Match in his fifth season — and has had them in six of the previous seven NCAA Tournaments. So, undeniably, Baylor has been reliably good for some time and would’ve been a No. 1 seed within the 2020 NCAA Match (If there had been a 2020 NCAA Match). However when Drew received the job, this was only a dangerous and broken Large 12 program that had superior within the NCAA Match solely as soon as within the earlier 53 years.
So, once more, from a historic perspective, Saturday’s No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown is fairly unimaginable. This is not No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 2 Duke. Or No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 2 Michigan State. It is a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup between a program that hardly registered 20 years in the past and one other that has no actual historical past and was decimated by scandal lower than 20 years in the past.
Tip is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.
You possibly can watch it on CBS.
As I am certain you realize, Gonzaga and Baylor are additionally No. 1 and No. 2 within the CBS Sports activities High 25 And 1 each day school basketball rankings and have been for the reason that preseason The one factor that brought about motion in Saturday morning’s replace is Wisconsin‘s 67-65 loss at Marquette. Per High 25 And 1 guidelines, Wisconsin was hit with a 10-spot auto-drop for shedding to a workforce not at the moment into account for the High 25 And 1. Meaning the Badgers at the moment are No. 17. Their subsequent sport is Wednesday in opposition to Louisville.
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