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Gonzaga basketball: Bulldogs sleeper WCC Tournament

Gonzaga aims for 25th straight NCAA Tournament appearance with strong offense and X-Factor Ben Gregg leading the way to success.

Gonzaga, despite facing a challenging season by their high standards, remains a strong contender to win the WCC Tournament. With a remarkable streak of 24 consecutive March Madness appearances, the Zags find themselves in a precarious position this year. While boasting a solid 21-6 overall record and an 11-2 conference record in the WCC, Gonzaga's lack of quality wins has put them on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament for the first time in a while.

However, a recent significant victory against Kentucky and upcoming opportunities for Quad I victories in games against San Francisco and Saint Mary's offer hope for Gonzaga's postseason aspirations. Winning these crucial matchups will solidify their spot in the NCAA Tournament without leaving it to chance on Selection Sunday.

In the event that Gonzaga does not win out in the regular season, they may need to reach the final of the WCC Tournament to secure a spot in March Madness. While Saint Mary's is favored to win the conference tournament, Gonzaga has a history of rising to the occasion when it matters most.

Over the past 16 seasons, there have only been two instances where Gonzaga faced uncertainty about making the NCAA Tournament. In both cases, the team tied with Saint Mary's for the WCC regular-season title, won the conference tournament, secured a spot in March Madness, and even won games in the tournament. The Zags have a proven track record of success in crucial moments.

Before focusing on postseason play, Gonzaga must navigate a challenging end to their conference schedule, seeking revenge against Santa Clara and facing tough matchups against San Francisco and Saint Mary's. This stretch of games will serve as a perfect preparation for the WCC tournament.

The team's offense has shown significant improvement in recent games, with an increased focus on three-point shooting leading to better overall efficiency. Notably, Nolan Hickman has stepped up his performance from beyond the arc, contributing to the team's offensive resurgence.

Additionally, the emergence of Ben Gregg as a key player has been instrumental in Gonzaga's success. Gregg's defensive prowess and offensive contributions have made him a valuable asset, despite not receiving as much attention as other players on the team. His ability to impact the game on both ends of the floor makes him a crucial X-factor for the Zags in the WCC Tournament.

Overall, Gonzaga's combination of offensive firepower, defensive tenacity, and experienced coaching staff positions them as a formidable contender in the upcoming WCC Tournament. With a history of success and a renewed focus on key areas of improvement, the Zags are well-equipped to make a deep run in postseason play.

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