I guess it's time to go ahead and buy my ticket.
I've put it off for long enough, and I know that since I waited so long, there probably won't be any good seats left, but I would settle for standing room only on this trip.
However, I want to make it clear that I'm not jumping on or leaping on or even casually boarding the Gonzaga bandwagon. I'm approaching it with caution.
For three years, I couldn't and wouldn't believe that it was true, but now I'm going to say four words that I never thought I would.
The Zags are dangerous.
After star center Casey Calvary left last year, I thought they were finally done for. I thought the little team that could from California would fade into the great world of college basketball "has-beens" with Indiana State and, uhh, North Carolina.
When Calvary left, I thought the cavalry went with him, but I was wrong.
The Zags' cavalry has more horses than most Budweiser commercials. Of course, the thoroughbred that has led them to the top is senior point guard Dan Dickau.
If this year's NCAA Tournament didn't have more great guards than Buckingham Palace, Dickau would be the best player in the country.
If this team is indeed the little engine that can, Dickau is the conductor with wild hair driving the train and the scorching hot coal that feeds the engine.
In the West Coast Conference championship game against Pepperdine, Dickau scored 23 points in the final 12 minutes, including a miraculous four-point play.
The All-American has the potential to be one of the purest shooters to ever play in the NBA, but Dickau and the rest of the Bulldogs have some bullying to do in the Dance before the Dickau turns his attention to the next level.
Dickau led the Zags to a Sweet Sixteen appearance last year, and they have made it to the round of 16 each of the last three seasons, despite having never seen a higher seed than No. 10.
This year they are a No. 6 seed and should have been higher than that.
There's no question the Zags don't have the size or depth to match up with Duke, Maryland or Kansas, but those teams are the Grinch vs. little Cindy-Lou Who when it comes to heart.
How much heart do they have?
Not 10 minutes after watching the tournament committee cheat his team out of a No. 2 or No. 3 seed, Gonzaga coach Mark Few calmly said how happy he was to be back for another shot at shocking the world.
But the world seems to be pretty much prepared for what Gonzaga can do. It's the ones who are supposed to be experts that are a little slow on the uptake.
"There are only 65 of us in there," he said. "We have to do a reality check and remember what a special deal it is to make it into the NCAA tournament. If there's one program that knows you have to throw out the seedings starting tomorrow, it's us."
I don't feel sorry for this team though. I feel sorry for No. 3 seeded Arizona, No. 2 seeded Oklahoma and No. 1 seeded Cincinnati. They're the ones that have to put up with the No. 6 team in the country, who also just happens to be a No. 6 seed.
After calling the NCAA's Official Bandwagon Ticket Office, I learned that the value of Zags' wagon seats is continuing to climb. So if you haven't yet, reserve your spot quick, because, I promise, they're going to take us for quite a ride.
Dickau's Zags prove ominous
Published: Thu Mar 14, 2002 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 04:11 p.m.