WCC Standings: All Gonzaga needs is just one more win

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

It is a good thing the Bulldogs had a solid lead in the WCC because they are fighting tooth and nail to win the conference title.

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.

Conference Overall
01 Gonzaga 13-3 23-6
02 BYU 12-5 20-10
03 San Francisco 11-5 18-10
04 Saint Mary's 10-6 20-9
05 Pepperdine 8-8 15-13
06 Portland 7-9 15-13
07 San Diego 7-10 16-14
08 Pacific 5-11 14-13
08 Santa Clara 5-11 12-17
10 LMU 3-13 11-17

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
1988 LMU LMU
1989 Saint Mary's LMU
1991 Pepperdine Pepperdine
1992 Pepperdine Pepperdine
1993 Pepperdine Santa Clara
1994 Gonzaga Pepperdine
1995 Santa Clara Gonzaga
1996 Gonzaga/Santa Clara Portland
1997 Saint Mary's/Santa Clara Saint Mary's
1998 Gonzaga San Francisco
1999 Gonzaga Gonzaga
2000 Pepperdine Gonzaga
2001 Gonzaga Gonzaga
2002 Gonzaga/Pepperdine Gonzaga
2003 Gonzaga San Diego
2004 Gonzaga Gonzaga
2005 Gonzaga Gonzaga
2006 Gonzaga Gonzaga
2007 Gonzaga Gonzaga
2008 Gonzaga San Diego
2009 Gonzaga Gonzaga
2010 Gonzaga Saint Mary's
2011 Gonzaga/Saint Mary's Gonzaga
2012 Saint Mary's Saint Mary's
2013 Gonzaga Gonzaga

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.

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