It’s not too often a coach says something about another college basketball team the way Gonzaga coach Mark Few mentioned Arizona tonight after the Bulldogs captured their fifth straight West Coast Conference tournament title.
Following Gonzaga’s 74-56 win over Saint Mary’s on Tuesday night in Las Vegas, Few was asked about the naysayers who mention the Bulldogs are not worthy of a No. 1 seed — despite a 32-1 record — because of the WCC’s perceived lack of strength.
“I don’t need to say anything to them,” Few said in response to a question of what he would say to the critics. “I mean, we’re 32-1 and this team has been exceptional all year. They’ve stepped up and met every challenge.”
He then commented on his team’s impressive non-conference wins against Florida, Iowa State and Arizona.
“Last time I checked Florida’s having a great year,” Few said. “Iowa State’s a heck of a team that went into Phog Allen and beat Kansas. …”
And then he mentioned this about Arizona:
“Sean Miller and I are pretty good friends. I root for the Cats unless we’re playing them and he’s had a phenomenal year. I think we ended up on top of that one too. So that’s a pretty good year. But if there is somebody out there who has done better than that, good on them, they can have it.”
Few did not say “Bear Down” and he won’t be in the stands wearing an Arizona cap any time soon, especially with his team primed to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament.
But it is interesting that Few and Miller, two of the best coaches who have yet to reach the Final Four, support each other like this. If Arizona captures the Pac-12 tournament title, the likely scenario is Gonzaga will be the No. 1 seed in the West and Arizona would be No. 2.
The Wildcats will not be penciled into the Final Four when Few fills out his bracket if that’s the case.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.