My first hot take this week is inspired by the Army-Navy football game. (Congratulations, Midshipmen.) Everything about that game is outstanding in terms of atmospherics, and it leads one to wonder whether we aren't doing neutral-site games a conceptual injustice in college basketball.
A neutral-site basketball game can be excellent if it has a capacity crowd split more or less 50-50 between the fan bases, if the teams are rivals and if the site and the game both have some tradition behind them. Let's see Louisville and Kentucky every year in Indianapolis, Kansas and Missouri in Kansas City and Georgetown and Syracuse in Madison Square Garden, just for starters.
Here are some other piping-hot takes that I think I can prove ...
The Bulldogs are the best team in the West
Over the past 16 days, Gonzaga has defeated Oregon on a neutral floor and won true road games at Washington and, as of Saturday night, Arizona. Mark Few crafted an ambitious schedule (North Carolina is next), and one 18-point loss to Michigan at the Battle 4 Atlantis notwithstanding, that decision has paid off.
The Zags put four scorers in double figures in Tucson, and three of those guys didn't play a minute in the Elite Eight loss to Texas Tech in March. Filip Petrusev, Joel Ayayi and Admon Gilder teamed with lone holdover Corey Kispert to collectively score 62 of Gonzaga's 84 points. For a team to notch 11 wins in 12 games against quality competition after replacing four starters from the previous season is no small feat.