If we are learning anything throughout this WCC Tournament, it is that Ken Pomeroy’s predictive stats for seeding are largely correct. The Gonzaga Bulldogs will finally hop into the ring in the semifinals, taking on the fourth-seeded Saint Mary’s Gaels.
The Gaels were the big benefactor of the seeding decision. They entered the conference tournament ranked seventh with a 4-6 record, but were awarded the fourth seed because the Gaels limited conference play was unbalanced at the top. They played the Zags and the BYU Cougars twice each this shortened season.
The reward for Saint Mary’s is a spot they aren’t used to—facing the Zags in the semifinals. For the Gaels, the only shot they have at a NCAA Tournament berth is through the WCC Tournament Championship. For Gonzaga, a game tonight and a possible game against BYU tomorrow represents a couple more opportunities for some solid challenges before resting up for Indianapolis.
Saint Mary’s has had limited success in dictating the pace of play against Gonzaga this season. Like all teams that have stumbled before them, the major issue is how to translate those first 10 minutes of success into a full 40. The Gaels did it to LMU on Saturday, with the two teams combining for 99 points. Saint Mary’s offense averaged 0.91 points per possession, a number that will have to dramatically increase if they wish to have even the most dumb, misplaced hope against Gonzaga.
The Zags last game was over a week ago against LMU. There is a good chance that a bit of rust will show. Hopefully, it won’t last for too long, because, in all honestly, there are few souls in the world who prefer to the style of Saint Mary’s basketball to Gonzaga’s.
- Time: 6:00 pm PT
- TV: ESPN
- Online: WatchESPN