Saint Mary’s Gaels vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Tip-off: Monday, March 11, 2013 – 9:00 PM ET
Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are close to earning their first No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament but according to YouWager experts what separated them from this is a matchup with their West Coast Conference nemesis: the Saint Mary’s Gaels.
After paying Saint Mary’s back for ending their 11-year dominance of WCC regular-season titles, the top-ranked Gonzaga will try to avenge last season’s conference tournament loss when these college basketball teams meet again in Las Vegas tonight.
The Bulldogs (30-2) have already made history by earning their first No. 1 ranking and recording their first 30-win season. A victory versus the Gaels (27-5) could work in the favor to add another milestone.
Experts are still unsure about whether Gonzaga deserves a top seed in the NCAA tournament but a 14th consecutive victory would seem to push them closer to making history. A defeat could cost them a No. 1 seed.
This will be the fifth straight time these teams are meeting in the conference title game. The Gaels have won two of the past three tournament championships and edged Gonzaga 78-74 in overtime last March.
Saint Mary’s does not have to worry about erasing any worries about the NCAA bubble. The Gaels have helped themselves by winning six in a row, including a 74-66 win versus the Missouri Valley champion Creighton on Feb. 23, and 19 of 21 with the lone two defeats coming to Gonzaga.
The Gaels needed overtime to edge 18-defeat San Diego 69-66 on Saturday and advance to the championship game.
Matthew Dellavedova, the Saint Mary’s all-time leading scorer, made just two of 12 shots but hit a tying 3-pointer with 10 seconds left in regulation and finished with seven points. Sophomore forward Brad Waldow had a career-high 23 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks even while losing a tooth due to an inadvertent elbow in the second half.
In the mean time, the Bulldogs handled Loyola Marymount 66-48 in its first game as a top-ranked team, and Harris led the way with 21 points.