And the magic number for the Gonzaga Bulldogs remains at one after another disappointing loss on Saturday to the San Diego Toreros. The schedule isn't doing Gonzaga any favors now as the team has faltered on the first two games of a four-game road swing. Still, it is important to remember that this same schedule did plenty of favors to GU, allowing the Zags to open games at home while both Sam Dower and Gary Bell sat out with injuries.
Here are the WCC Standings right now.
With a win either at Pacific or at Saint Mary's, Gonzaga will be the outright WCC champion. The two teams with any mathematical chance of sharing the conference crown are BYU and San Francisco. Both will need Gonzaga to lose its upcoming games this week. BYU has one game left against San Diego. San Francisco finishes out the season on the road against Pepperdine and LMU.
The Bulldogs can make it easy on themselves and just get that one win -- preferably sooner than later. Everything is on the struggling Bulldogs now. Just one game is all we need and we can rest easy-ish for the WCC Tournament.
I say rest easy-ish because the only real way for Gonzaga to feel perfectly at ease on Selection Sunday is to win the WCC Conference Tournament. That is a lot easier said then done, especially since the No. 1 seed no longer has a bye all the way into the semi-finals. But, the top two seeds get a bye, and generally speaking, the top seed is the one who cuts the nets down in Vegas.
Here are all of the conference champions and the tournament champions of each year since the tournament started in 1987.
|Year||Regular season champion||Tournament champion|
|1987||San Diego||Santa Clara|
|1997||Saint Mary's/Santa Clara||Saint Mary's|
|2012||Saint Mary's||Saint Mary's|
The regular season champion has won the conference tournament 15 of the 26 years. It is a far cry from a certainty to win the regular season and take the tournament title home, but a top seed will put Gonzaga on the right side of the bracket. If Gonzaga takes the top spot, that means the other side of the bracket would most likely have San Francisco and BYU in it. Also, just as importantly, San Diego will most likely land either the six or the seven seed, meaning Gonzaga won't have to face the team that has played it the hardest all season until the tournament final.
It has been a wild ride of a season this year, but the mindset right now has to be one more game. Nothing further than that.