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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Gonzaga’s basketball success worth arguing about

When you are talking about remarkable success stories in area sports, it’s pretty tough to top what Mark Few has done with the Gonzaga men’s basketball program.

He has been the head coach for 16 years and has guided the Zags to 16 straight NCAA appearances.

Even the Zag haters out there have to admit, that is extraordinary.

But which Mark Few team is the best? It’s a question asked a lot this season with the current team receiving national attention as a possible Final Four team.

We decided to find out. More specifically, Ralph Walter, a longtime copy editor and designer at The Spokesman-Review (formerly with sports), came up with a plan to determine the best. To be clear, Walter, a proud Eastern alum, has never been on the Gonzaga bandwagon. He does, however, appreciate success and recognizes a hot debate topic.

In this Wednesday’s special section, we will unveil a 16-team bracket and begin to disclose which GU team rises to the top. The section will have each team’s starters and key contributors along with individual and team stats and how the team did in the NCAA tournament.

We put together a five-person panel to discuss the qualities and weaknesses of every team. The panel spent the better part of three hours with our bracket and finally came up with a champion.

We will unveil the panel’s round-by-round decisions each day and reveal the champion in Sunday’s special section.

There is no doubt many readers will disagree. We welcome your opinion.

Starting Wednesday, we will have an online component to complement the print products at You can watch the short videos of the panel discussing each matchup. It was interesting to see what each panelist valued on each team.

On that site there will be a form for readers to let us know their pick of the best team. You can also send us an email at sports@ or snail mail at 999 W. Riverside, Spokane, WA 99201.

Tell us your champion and in 100 words or less, let us know your reasons. Next Sunday we will print the best of the responses.

Have some fun with it.

Sports editor Joe Palmquist can be reached by phone at 459-5503 or by e-mail at
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