The Gonzaga Bulldogs will face off against their old nemesis in the Saint Mary’s Gaels in the WCC Tournament Championship game for an automatic ticket to the NCAA Tournament, but perhaps more importantly, bragging rights.
The two teams have been a class above the rest of the WCC for much of the season, and for quite some time, it looked like that the Zags would be rolling through the conference undefeated. The Gaels had other plans however, and just over a week ago, completely humbled the No. 1 ranked Bulldogs in Moraga, a fitting end to the many seniors on the squad.
Since the WCC Tournament is designed to reward winners, both teams didn’t hit the court in Las Vegas until last night, and both teams pretty much went through the same showing.
Gonzaga came out incredibly hot, pretty much burying San Francisco under an avalanche of post points and looking like it was on its way to a thorough rout. Unfortunately, basketball games are not 30 minutes long, and a lackadaisical close to the game put much of Gonzaga nation teetering on the brink of sanity.
For Saint Mary’s, it was somewhat similar in their own rights. The Gaels led by nine points with just under 10 minutes remaining, but Santa Clara came roaring back, pulling within two points with just 42 seconds left. A block by Logan Johnson and two ice-cold Tommy Kuhse free throws later, and the Gaels were able to lick their wounds late into the night and prepare for today’s game.
The two teams have been here plenty before. In the past decade, this is the fifth time Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s have met in the final. The last time the Zags won 84-66. The time before that Saint Mary’s won 60-47. Considering each team won on its home court in the style it likes to play, out of all the games this season for Gonzaga, it truly feels like a toss-up.
According to DraftKings, Gonzaga is favored by 12.5 points, a pretty decent spread, but one with plenty of room for error. Let’s see how it goes today.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.