What did Monday night’s WCC Tournament Championship do for the Gonzaga Bulldogs and St. Mary’s Gaels NCAA Tournament chances? For the Zags, the win in Las Vegas ensured entry into the field of 68 this year, taking away the guesswork and creating a stress-free Selection Sunday. St. Mary’s, on the other hand, isn’t so lucky, and will likely be on pins and needles when the selection committee chooses the NCAA Tournament field later this week.
Gonzaga is assured its 13th straight NCAA Tournament appearance, the fourth-longest active streak in the NCAA. The Zags are listed as a nine-seed at SB Nation, placing them on one of the tougher seed lines in the tournament. ESPN also has the Zags as a nine-seed, set to take on Utah State in the first round, with the winner facing Kansas in the second.
For the Gaels, the news isn’t so good, but it’s also not terrible either. After the loss, St. Mary’s remained in several bracketology projections, but are right on the edge, and a few upsets could keep the Gaels home. Here’s a rundown of where St. Mary’s stands, as of Tuesday.
SB Nation: The Gaels are in the field as an 11 seed, right on the edge. Chris Dobbertean has St. Mary’s listed in his “next four in,” used for teams automatically in the field of 64.
ESPN: The Gaels are a 10-seed in Joe Lunardi’s latest bracket, projected to face UCLA in the first round. St. Mary’s doesn’t appear on any of Lunardi’s first/next four list, perhaps keeping the Gaels a bit more safe.
Will the WCC get two in this season. Gonzaga is safe, but St. Mary’s should be sweating, rooting for the favorites in conference tournaments. Just a few upsets could tip the balance, bouncing the Gaels out of the NCAA Tournament and into the NIT.
To relive all the magic from Las Vegas, check out the rest of our 2011 WCC Tournament StoryStream. To celebrate with Gonzaga fans, visit The Slipper Still Fits.