Zags Feasting on the Pac-10, Tomorrow at

[http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/luke_winn/03/16/gonzaga.pac-10/>Gonzaga Feasting on the Pac-10, Tomorrow at Noon CT]

The Gonzaga Bulldogs have won nine straight games against the Pacific Ten Conference since losing to UCLA in the Sweet 16 in 2006, and the streak has them [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/stewart_mandel/03/15/gonzaga.pac10/>brimming with confidence as they prepare for No. 13 Western Kentucky on Saturday (Noon ET, CBS).

The Zags are a good team, maybe even better than their rankings, but they have been feasting on the Pac-10. The only other team they played with a record over .500 was Georgia and they lost by 1. They don’t have a single win against a team in the top 50 of the RPI (according to RPIForecast). Gonzaga is also ranked

The Zags have won their last 12 games against the Pac-10 and are 14-2 all time against Arizona.

That’s a testament to Gonzaga’s ability to schedule up in the nonconference, something the Pac-10 has not been able to do for itself. The league ranks sixth in the RPI, a statistic that rates teams based on strength of schedule and overall record.

The Zags first began beating Pac-10 teams in 1999, when they knocked off Stanford and Washington State. The next year, they beat UCLA and Arizona.

“We’ve been getting better,” said Gonzaga senior Blake Stepp, who leads the team with 13.6 points per game. “Year by year we’ve gotten better players and gotten more experience.”

Gonzaga is led by Stepp and junior forward Ronny Turiaf, who averages 12.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Both were high school teammates at Los Angeles’ St. Bernard High School. The Bulldogs also boast a potent three-point attack behind starters Derek Raivio (40 percent) and Erroll Knight (45 percent).

Both of those guys can shoot it,” Romar said of Raivio and Knight, who combine for 2.4 three-

For a recap of the Gonzaga-Arizona game, check out the Gonzaga basketball website!

Gonzaga is turning heads with their strong play. The Zags have beaten both Oregon and Oregon State (both in Oregon), and are currently enjoying a four-game winning streak. They have also won nine of their last ten games.

The Zags will host Arizona tomorrow at 7:00 p.m.

The Gonzaga men’s basketball team is off to a hot start, and I can’t help but think that the Pac-10 conference has something to do with it. After all, the Zags have beaten two Pac-10 teams on consecutive days in the Great Alaska Shootout, beating

With Gonzaga’s win over St. Mary’s, the Bulldogs have now won 7 straight games against Pac-10 opponents (including wins over UCLA, Oregon, and Stanford). And their only loss to a Pac-10 team this year was to USC at the Great Alaska Shootout in overtime.

With such an impressive resume against Pac-10 teams this year, it would seem that the Zags should be getting some more national attention. They currently sit at number 19 in the AP poll and could probably make a strong case for moving up after their overtime win over Stanford.

But apparently that isn’t good enough for the “experts” at ESPN who have Gonzaga rated as just the 35th best team in the nation on their College Basketball Power Index (CBPi). The CBPi is supposed to be a rating system that factors in margin of victory, strength of schedule, and home court advantage when calculating a team’s ranking.

The Zags are ranked behind all but two Pac-10 teams (Stanford and Oregon) even though they have defeated 3 of those teams thus far this season. Perhaps the most ridiculous part of this is that ESPN has UCLA rated as the 10th best team in the nation even though they were blown out by Gonzaga by 25

The Gonzaga Bulldogs are playing Oregon tomorrow at the McCarthey Athletic Center. This will be a great opportunity to see a Pac-10 team in person, but it will also be a good measuring stick for how well the Zags have improved over the year because of their tough non-conference schedule.

The Zags are currently ranked

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