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Gonzaga Basketball

Zags Basketball Insiders Podcast (episode 14): Fading at-large hopes, a rough finish against Saint Mary’s and an opportunity in Lexington

From “First Four In” to “Next Four In,” life only gets more challenging this week for the Gonzaga basketball team this week.

With a game at Kentucky scheduled for Saturday, GU – missing the field in the most recent NCAA Tournament projections – gets its last chance for a Quad 1 victory and boost its already outside hopes for an at-large bid.

In the latest Zags Basketball Insiders Podcast on Monday, Spokesman-Review reporter Jim Meehan and TV analyst and former GU big man Richard Fox talk about Gonzaga’s fading at-large chances, look ahead to the Kentucky matchup, and also look back at Saturday’s wild loss to Saint Mary’s.

Among the highlights (edited for brevity):

Fox: “Obviously winning Saturday night (against Saint Mary’s) gives you some breathing room when it comes to the tournament and I think it’s more likely than not that that breathing room is gone. I think you’re going to have to go into (Las) Vegas and probably win that (WCC Tournament). Understanding that they’ve got another great opportunity down in Kentucky this weekend, on the road at San Francisco and at Saint Mary’s, there are opportunities to get a Quad 1 win left on their schedule. But after Saturday (against Saint Mary’s), I think any optimism that this team is definitely going to get that done is probably in question. I think you go into all those games having real concerns about whether or not they can get it done. Just the chance to get one on your home floor, that’s gone now (and) you’re going to have to do it the hard way on the road.”

Meehan: “They’ve got to show they can beat the bigger dogs and until they do that, I think there’s going to be a lot of questions about their worthiness to be an at-large, or it’s going to force them to obviously win the WCC Tournament as the ultimate outcome. If they were to beat Kentucky on the road, if they were to stay clean in conference, beat the Gaels in Moraga, maybe they do find their way into an at-large. But they’ve got to show that that’s the difference in this team and all the other Zag teams.”

Catch the episode here, or find it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.