Things I Like About The NCAA Basketball Tournament: Gonzaga

I began watching the NCAA Basketball Tournament so long ago that I still automatically associate Gonzaga1 with Cinderella Team even though they have for years been more accurately characterized as a perpetual powerhouse (this year the Zags have a #4 seeding, for goodness sake). Regardless, I still find saying “Gonzaga” intrinsically gratifying. Try it yourself:

Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga. Gonzaga.

Also, it’s the only school in this year’s NCAA tournament with a name that I have successfully used to designate a cheese I brought to a neighborhood dinner party, describing it as possessing “a winning chemistry and character,” paraphrasing coach Dan Monson’s description of the 1999 team after defeating Florida to reach the Elite Eight, “There are a lot of teams at home now with better basketball talent, but our kids make up for that with chemistry and character.”

For that matter, Gonzaga is, as far as I can determine, the only team in this year’s NCAA tournament named after a canonized16th century Italian Jesuit. That would be Gonzaga’s namesake, one Aloysius Gonzaga, aka “the patron saint of youth,” a title apparently earned by his efforts to save young people from the plague

I suppose it would be petty of me to wonder why St Gonzaga couldn’t have rescued a few, slightly older dudes while he was at it.

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  1. Gonzaga is a private, Roman Catholic university founded in 1887 in Spokane, Washington []

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