Zags Basketball Insiders Podcast (episode 11): A costly loss, a streak ends and some real NCAA Tournament anxiety

Jan. 15—From staff reports

On the heels of Thursday's upset loss at Santa Clara, Gonzaga fell to No. 50 in the NET rankings, while also slipping out of the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time in eight years.

Welcome to "Bubbleville."

In the latest Zags Basketball Insiders Podcast, Spokesman-Review reporter Jim Meehan and TV analyst and former Gonzaga center Richard Fox discuss the Santa Clara loss, talk about the latest bracket projections — including one that doesn't include GU — and what, if anything, can be done to correct course.

One area both agree: Beating Kentucky is nearly a must for an at-large bid.

Among the highlights:

Fox: "It's just remarkable just to talk about it for the first time since March of 2016, I guess. Just not used to having to contemplate whether or not Gonzaga is going to be in the tournament, so I think for everybody that follows the Zags, it's just startling to think about that possibility. They don't have any real room for error, particularly in the conference, because despite the fact that Santa Clara ... is a good team and presented some matchup problems and size, I'm not sure they're a lock to be in the tournament or a tournament team. You don't get a lot of credit for beating Pepperine, or San Diego, Pacific, LMU, and these are games you have to have and so there's just a real pressure that builds as you move through conference play, understanding how important all these games are. And you're an imperfect team. Every team has some imperfections, but this team's imperfections are glaring and obvious."

Meehan: "I do think if (the Zags) got on a big roll and won out, I think they could climb up pretty decently on the seed line. (A first-round game in) Spokane's probably out of the question at this point, obviously, but let's say they win 16 in a row, they win at Kentucky, Saint Mary's qualifies as a quad one both times, maybe they beat them in the (WCC) tournament — you're looking at like a 6-4 Quad One record that's the same as last year when they were a 3 seed. Every domino's got to fall for that to happen, but the point is the sky isn't falling. But it's a little cloudy out there right now."

Catch the episode here. It's also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.