The readers favor Corey Kispert and the Gonzaga Bulldogs over Mikayla Pivec and the Oregon State Beavers. But not by much.
The college basketball season is now underway, and Snohomish County has prominent players on two top-10 teams: King’s High School graduate Kispert with the No. 8 Gonzaga men and Lynnwood High School grad Pivec with the No. 7 Oregon State women.
Both are significant contributors to their teams — Kispert starts at small forward for the Bulldogs, Piverc is an All-America candidate guard with the Beavers — and both squads have lofty aspirations this season. Therefore, this week’s Seattle Sidelines poll asked readers to predict which player’s team will advance the furthest this season. Here’s how you voted:
POLL: Which college basketball team goes furthest this season, Lynnwood H.S. grad Mikayla Pivec’s No. 7 Oregon State women or King’s H.S. grad Corey Kispert’s No. 8 Gonzaga men? Full context, including a closer look at the teams, here: https://t.co/PZOBFgYeRI
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) November 18, 2019
Add the two together and Kispert and the Zags ever so slightly out-polled Pivec and the Beavers 52 percent to 48 percent. That’s a margin of four votes.
I have to admit I was psyched to do this poll. I knew it was unlikely to draw a large turnout, since it involves athletes with specific school/geographic followings within the county, requires a certain amount of knowledge about both men’s and women’s college basketball, and wasn’t about football. But I find it exciting to have two local products playing such substantial roles for such good teams, and I’ve had great experiences interacting with both Kispert and Pivec when writing about them over the years. I’m very much looking forward to following their progress over the course of this season.
As for the poll results, this might as well be a dead heat, as the 4-percent difference I’m sure would be within the margin of error.
I’m not surprised Kispert edged his nose in front right at the end. The Gonzaga men’s team has elevated itself from being a regional program into being a national brand, and the Bulldogs have gone as far as the national championship game as recently as 2017, so there’s almost certainly a broader knowledge about the Gonzaga men being a contender than the Oregon State women.
On the other hand, I suspect Pivec is a little better known within the confines of Snohomish County than Kispert just because of the high schools they attended — Lynnwood is a bigger 3A school and is actually within the confines of the country, while King’s is a smaller 1A school and just across the county line in north Shoreline, though Kispert is an Edmonds native himself.
Both teams are off to blazing starts, with Kispert and the Zags 5-0 and Pivec and the Beavers winning the preseason WNIT. Nothing the players or teams have done yet dispels the notion that they’ll be playing deep into their respective NCAA tournaments.
So we in Snohomish County seem destined to have a lot to pay attention to once March Madness rolls around.