In a single-elimination tournament, it’s hard to be too surprised about any upset. Over one 40-minute game, anything can happen. But following the game, Few expressed his surprise at the defeat.
Gonzaga coach Mark Few to CBS: "We're not used to losing in this round over these last four or five years. We've been able to advance past this round and keep it going, so I think we're a little bit in shock."
— Matt Jones (@MattJonesADG) March 25, 2022
Few also referenced how Gonzaga had been at or near the top of the rankings for the entire season, which no other top teams had done. That drew an obvious response.
“We were number one at the beginning of the year, and we were the only ones being able to hang on to it. Everyone else kept falling off.”
Mark Few just said that with a straight face. Coach, you play high schools all year. I like him usually, but that was desperate.
— Talkin’ Hawks (@TalkinHawks) March 25, 2022
To the point Mark Few made, I would say you all held #1 throughout the year while others “fell of” as you put it, because y’all didn’t play anybody. lol
— Ryan Switzer (@Switz) March 25, 2022
But beyond just postgame comments, Few’s consistent NCAA Tournament struggles were a source of conversation.
waiting for Mark Few to lead Gonzaga to a title pic.twitter.com/7ScjnSOpM6
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) March 25, 2022
Downgrading Mark Few to Mark None bc homie can’t win a championship to save his life 😤
— Callie Cox (@callieabost) March 25, 2022
Mark Few and Gonzaga have been dominating the WCC/regular season since the ‘99-00 season (23yrs) and have two Final Four appearance and zero titles.
— Jegrity (@journalisticrob) March 25, 2022
So when exactly does Mark Few start taking some heat? You say they’re a blue blood now. Come out of garbage conference and have one seed after one seed.
— Greg (@GregNJ) March 25, 2022
Muss just whipped Mark Few for 40 minutes
— TK🇺🇸🐗 (@TKhogs) March 25, 2022
Sad Mark Few interviews come like clockwork every year don’t they
— Countesses of UNC (@CountessesofUNC) March 25, 2022
There was another major talking point in the aftermath of the loss. If the in-game coaching of Few isn’t the reason that Gonzaga consistently falls short in March, maybe the kind of players on the team has something to do with it.
Gonzaga has the Duke label of the late 80s/early 90s as the best program to not win it all…Mark Few still hasn't found his Grant Hill. In this current climate, he may never… https://t.co/hADGV28ufa
— Andrew Hammond (@ahammFreePress) March 25, 2022
Nobody else is gonna say it… i will… Mark Few needs to go to the TRENCHES and recruit more DOGS!! They lose in the NCAA Tournament every year to the type of basketball players they don’t ever recruit!!
— 73-9 and THEY LIED (@CuffsTheLegend) March 25, 2022
Mark Few gotta start adding some kids who ain’t always have a ride home after practice in middle school.
— The Anonymous Nobody (@el_budget) March 25, 2022
Few took over the Gonzaga program in the 1999-00 season. The year before, the Bulldogs had reached the Elite Eight under Dan Monson.
Gonzaga has reached the NCAA Tournament every year in Few’s tenure (except in 2020, when then Bulldogs were 31-2 but no tournament was held). And while Gonzaga does tend to play a weaker schedule, it’s not as though the Bulldogs have no-showed in March Madness. That’s happened occasionally. But Few’s teams have gone out in the Sweet 16 now seven times, the Elite Eight twice and have reached the National Championship Game on two occasions (2017, 2021), losing both.
But until Gonzaga cuts the nets down at the end of the National Championship Game, Few will continue to come under fire.