St. Mary's vs. Gonzaga, 2011 WCC Championship Game Preview: ESPN Airing Battle For NCAA Tournament Bid

Fooch's Note: We'll have a halftime update and game recap in this stream. For the rest of our in-game updates, check us out at @sbnbayarea.

Tonight at 6:00pm pacific, ESPN will air the 2011 West Coast Conference Championship game between the St. Mary's Gaels and the Gonzaga Bulldogs. The top two seeds in the WCC tournament split their season series with a pair of tightly contested games that were not decided until the closing moments of each game. Tonight's rubber match has Gonzaga as a slight 1 1/2 point favorite, which is a spread befitting a game that should be filled with high drama. Of course now that I've said that, one team is going to win by about 20.

The Saint Mary's Gaels are led by WCC Player of the Year Mickey McConnell and his 16.5 points and 6.1 assists per game. However, on any given night they have several players that can step up and lead the team. Rob Jones and Matthew Dellavedova are averaging 13.6 and 13.2 points per game, while Mitchell Young is dropping in 10.4. Jones is the Gaels primary inside man as he averages 7.5 rebounds per game, while Young brings down 5.1 board per game.

Jones and Young will have to earn their scholarships tonight as they'll face an assortment of big bodies in the Gonzaga lineup. Seven footer Robert Sacre is the team's leading rebounder with 6.2 per game, while Elias Harris is right behind him with 5.9 per game. Seven footer Kelly Olynyk doesn't play nearly as many minutes as Sacre and Harris, but you can't teach seven feet and he is able to give them some size off the bench. The Bulldogs leading scorer is senior guard Steven Gray, who averages 13.7 points per game. Sacre and Harris provide 12.5 and 12.2 points per game respectively.

Gonzaga received some big contributions last night against San Francisco when junior guard Marquise Carter poured in a team-leading 18 points and freshman guard David Stockton (John's son) added 9 points, 3 steals, 2 assists and 3 rebounds in 15 minutes of play. If the Bulldogs get those kinds of contributions tonight it could be a long night for the Gaels.

We'll have more updates from tonight's game in our WCC tournament story stream. Additionally, you can get a Gonzaga perspective on this weekend's games in SB Nation Seattle's WCC tournament story stream and at The Slipper Still Fits.

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