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Mark Few says Gonzaga will keep its options open when it comes to conference affiliation

UPDATED: Fri., March 17, 2017, 9:18 p.m.

Gonzaga head coach Mark Few speaks to the media, Friday. March 17, 2017, about the Bulldogs’ upcoming game against Northwestern. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga head coach Mark Few speaks to the media, Friday. March 17, 2017, about the Bulldogs’ upcoming game against Northwestern. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

SALT LAKE CITY – Butler and Creighton each comfortably made the NCAA Tournament field this year, although neither school won their conference tournament.

That’s because the former mid-major powers upgraded to the Big East, establishing themselves as haves rather than have-nots in the world of college athletics.

Gonzaga has not made a jump to a Power Conference and seems content to simply dominate the West Coast Conference in men’s basketball every year. But on Friday coach Mark Few hinted that may not always be the case.

Although conference-realignment has cooled from the fever pitch it reached a few years ago, when even Power Conference schools like Missouri, Nebraska and Texas A&M were switching allegiances, it is likely schools will continue to seek better situations and occasionally jump to new conferences.

Few would not rule out GU getting in on the action.

“I think we’re very aware of what’s been going on,” Few said. “We’ve watched it. And certainly I think there’s been discussion and even theories and things like that.

“We’ll put ourselves in position to do whatever we have to do. If there’s a movement that’s going to happen, we’re going to look out for what’s best for Gonzaga.”

It was around this time last year that Mark Few had some harsh words for the rest of the WCC, which he said was dragging down the top three teams: BYU, GU and Saint Mary’s.

The Zags were the league champion but only awarded a No. 11 seed in the NCAA Tournament, while BYU and Saint Mary’s were relegated to the NIT, where both played well. Few also said that the Big East – at one time the nation’s premier basketball conference – could restore its former mantle by expanding west.

“I actually think the Big East is positioned, if they want, to expand,” Few told William C. Rhoden of the New York Times last March. “If they wanted to expand nationally, I think that would be really, really crafty, and they could be a national basketball-only conference.”

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