Fourth Wave, 2010-2013 seasons
The players of the Zags fourth dynasty was led by Robert Sucre, Kelly Olynyk, Elias Harris, Sam Dower, and David Stockton. These athletes lead the 2012-2013 Bulldogs to their first-ever number one rankings in both the AP and Coaches polls. Surpassing expectations, the Zags received their first number one seed in the NCAA tournament.
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Once again they reached the Round of 32, losing to the Wichita State Shockers. Underdogs or Dynasty?
Recent Wave, 2014-2017 Seasons
The 2013-14 season was lead by the talents of David Stockton, Gary Bell Jr., Kevin Pangos, Kyle Wiltjer, and Przemek Karnowski. Another strong Zags team reached their sixteenth straight NCAA tournament losing in the round of 32.
The following year the same group of Zags players reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament, losing to the eventual champion, Duke Blue Devils. The 2015-16 team, yet another NCAA underdog, led by Wiltjer, Karnowski, and Damnotis Sabonis reached a seventh Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA tournament.
In 2016-17, the fifth installment of the Gonzaga Dynasty led by a different breed of underdogs, Nigel Williams-Goss, Zach Collins, Josh Perkins, Jonathan Williams, and sixth-year senior Przemek Karnowski reached the ultimate level, a Final Four, losing in the title to North Carolina.
New Wave, 2018-present
The new Cinderella is now the present installment of the Zags Dynasty that has led to this year’s preseason number three ranking in the country. The players of the past paved the way for the players of present and future. Zags teams of the past have helped coach Mark Few recruit worldly talent. These teams, these players have changed the label of “underdog” to “dynasty”.
How many NCAA teams have seen this kind of success during the last 20 years? Just a handful. Only the Duke Blue Devils, North Carolina Tar Heels, Kentucky Wildcats, and Kansas Jayhawks have had similar success to the Gonzaga Bulldogs. The one main difference is those five teams have claimed championships, the Zags have not. Like I said before, fans love to root for an underdog, but they also love to root for a dynasty!
All totaled the Gonzaga Bulldogs have over 20 years of basketball excellence.