Zags should no longer surprise us

Originally Published: December 30, 2004
By Fran Fraschilla | Special to ESPN Insider
No team in the country has three better nonconference victories than Gonzaga as the Bulldogs enter Thursday night's game at Missouri. And their convincing victories over Washington, Georgia Tech and Oklahoma State say all you need to know about the Zags as a Final Four contender.

How could Gonzaga end up in St. Louis? First, keep in mind that the Bulldogs have already played three top-five teams – Illinois, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State. And the Yellow Jackets and the Cowboys return the majority of their players from last year's teams that advanced to the Final Four in San Antonio.

In addition, not many teams have two contenders for first-team All-America honors like Gonzaga has. Sure, North Carolina has Rashad McCants, Sean May and Raymond Felton; Oklahoma State has John Lucas and Joey Graham; and Duke has Shelden Williams, Daniel Ewing and J.J. Redick. But Adam Morrison and Ronny Turiaf are as good a 1-2 punch as any in the country.
Fran Fraschilla is a college basketball analyst for ESPN. He formerly was the head coach at Manhattan, St. John's and New Mexico.