First of all, let's start with my five college basketball teams that I love to hate.
5. Arizona, the U of A basketball team has been a thorn in the side of the Washington Huskies since 1984, when they made the tournament for the first time under Lute Olson. They have made Four Final Fours, 1988, 1994, 1997(won title) and 2001 runner-up to the #1 team on this list.
4. U-C-L-A. As a Gonzaga fan, I still have nightmares of the Bruins stealing the ball four or five times in the last two minutes of the Sweet Sixteen game in Oakland. Oakland is not a place for Mariner or Gonzaga fans. They are almost always good, now they've made two straight Final Fours and have made the most trips to the Final 4 (17).
3. Connecticut. Nothing as a Westerner annoys me than an arrogant team in the Northeast corridor. The UConn Huskies fit that description. Two National Championships (1999, 2004) add to that as well as their presence in the state of Connecticut, which guarantees that even if they're poor, they'll have one or two appearances on ESPN (aka the Eastern Seaboard Programming Network).
2. Syracuse. The Orange fit the above description, and although they only have one championship (2003), what puts them ahead of UConn is their coach, Jim Boeheim, who complains a lot and who never schedules tough non-conference road games, and the Gerry MacNamara controversy in 2006, when an SI poll of college players said that he was the most overrated player in the Big East. If G-Mac was white, he wouldn't be considered scrappy and other adjectives attributed to David Eckstein, Dustin Pedroia and Craig Counsell.
1. Duke. The New York Yankees of college basketball. There's a reason why a certain announcer at ESPN is called Dookie V, Baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How many games does Duke have that aren't televised, especially by ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or ABC? Not too many.
Honorable mention: Nevada (for beating Gonzaga in 2004 and not reaching the Sweet Sixteen after that year. Memphis, for having John Calipari be their coach.
Now let's focus on the 2007-2008 season for Washington and Gonzaga.
Unfortunately, they don't play each other anymore.
Gonzaga is ranked fourteenth in the preseason coaches poll. Washington isn't ranked.
Washington is in the preseason NIT. If they do well, they will make it to New York and then Dick Vitale (aka Dookie V) will actually see a Washington game.
Other good non-conference games for Washington. Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh
and LSU. LSU and Ok. State are road games.
For more on Washington sports, go to http://www.udubdish.com/
Gonzaga's good non-conference games are at St. Joseph's (Philly), Connecticut (in Boston), at Memphis, Tennessee (in Seattle), Oklahoma State in Oklahoma City, Western Kentucky and a couple others in Alaska in the Great Alaska Shootout.
Gonzaga information, courtesy of http://gozags.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/sched/gonz-m-baskbl-sched.html
Heytvelt is back. Zag fans, accept him with open arms. He served his punishment and it's a new season. No more high off the court jokes.
HOCKEY: Ottawa is 9-1 and off to a great start.