LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 07: Head coach Randy Bennett of the Saint Mary's Gaels talks to Rob Jones #22 after he was called for a technical foul during the championship game of the Zappos.com West Coast Conference Basketball tournament against the Gonzaga Bulldogs at the Orleans Arena March 7, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gonzaga won 75-63. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
The Gaels look to protect their No. 23 ranking, while USF goes for a sweep.
There is a full slate of West Coast Conference basketball to be played on Saturday, including the local Saint Mary's Gaels and San Francisco Dons. Every game is critical at this point in the year, especially with March Madness a little more than a month away. Until then, let's check out the games that matter across the Bay Area.
The 23rd-ranked Saint Mary's men's basketball team takes its undefeated West Coast Conference record on the road tomorrow when it faces longtime rival Santa Clara at the Leavey Center. While SMU has played well to this point in the season, Santa Clara has struggled for the most part, compiling a record of 8-9 with no wins in conference game.
The game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. tipoff and will be televised live by Comcast SportsNet California with Dave Benz and Stan Morrison calling the action. The telecast will also be carried live internationally by ESPN Pacific Rim and ESPN Brazil and tape-delayed by ESPN2 Australia, which is pretty cool for both teams.
San Francisco completes its Pacific Northwest swing with a Saturday matinee at Portland at the Chiles Center. Tip-off against the Pilots is set for 1:30 PM in a game carried live on 95.7 The GAME and televised by Comcast SportsNet Plus. USF already knocked off Portland earlier this season and a win would complete the season sweep against the Pilots.
The Dons played well in non-conference play (10-4), but are just 2-5 in WCC play. Portland has struggled throughout most of the year and feature a record of 5-14, although they hold in half-game lead over USF in the conference standings.