SB Nation Bay Area
Stay connected for news and updates Follow @sbnbayarea
Like us to subscribe
The St. Mary's Gaels were in no danger of being bounced from the 2012 NCAA Tournament with a loss in the WCC Tournament Championship against the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Saint Mary's has been too good all season, winning almost all the games they were expected to win this year and finishing 27-5 overall. They were in, it was just a matter of improving their seeding as much as possible so the team could survive to at least the second weekend.
The Gaels did what they needed to against the Bulldogs. They shot the lights on their three pointers early to keep them afloat against an early Gonzaga onslaught; although the three point percentage fell to Earth near the end, those eight triples made a huge difference in this contest. St. Mary's also managed to get to the line 20 times compared to 11 for Gonzaga. But it was their two point efficency that really kept St. Mary's floating, hitting 50% of their shots.
Matthew Dellavedova was one of the main offensive conduits, handling the ball for most of the game while getting 22 points on 21 shots (although he did turn over the ball seven times), but he got ample support from his teammates. Jorden Page put up 16 points as the main outside scoring option, hitting three triples. Rob Jones added 18 points and nine rebounds and Brad Waldow added 13 points and eight rebounds.
This team has multiple options to rely on offensively to keep the Gaels going deep in the 2012 NCAA Tournament if they execute offensively. Getting two point baskets is always paramount, and a few timely threes like what St. Mary's did tonight could make all the difference.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs and St. Mary's Gaels provide an excellent contrast in style, and it showed during the first half of their matchup. There were five ties and eleven lead changes in the first half, but ultimately both teams ended with 36 points apiece at halftime. St. Mary's opened things up by relying on the three pointer, nailing seven of 14 threes to keep them in it with Gonzaga relying more on their interior play. Matthew Dellavaedova led St. Mary's with 10 points, Jorden Page added eight points and Rob Jones put in seven points to lead the Gaels into halftime.
St. Mary's used their hot outside shooting to take the lead in the second half, but they couldn't put too much distance between themselves in the second half. Still, the Gaels responded strongly against every Gonzaga rally and seemed to be in position to win up five, but then allowed Elias Harris of Gonzaga to score five points in the final seconds (with Dellavedova getting tied up on a jump ball trying to run the clock out) to tie the game. Dellavedova's last second shot was long and the game was sent to overtime.
Gonzaga and St. Mary's didn't really separate themselves from each other in overtime.
In overtime, both Gonzaga and St. Mary's traded baskets for much of the period, but with the game tied at 72, Kevin Pangos banged Dellavedova on a scramble, forcing Matthew to the free throw line where he put St. Mary's up for good. Gonzaga couldn't hit their shots late, and St. Mary's hit their free throws the rest of the way en route to clinching the victory.
St. Mary's earns the automatic bid from the WCC (they were already likely to win an at-large bid), pairing it up with a regular season conference title.
The West Coast Conference gets the spotlight to itself Monday evening before the major conference tournaments begin on Tuesday. It is fitting that the WCC championship game features one of the best rivalries in college basketball as the Saint Mary's Gaels face the Gonzaga Bulldogs. This marks the twelfth meeting of the two schools over the last four years, and the fourth straight conference championship matchup between the two.
Saint Mary's ended Gonzaga's run of regular season conference championships this season, and will look to add the postseason title as well. The Gaels will likely be without Stephen Holt as he continues recovering from a knee injury. Holt was in uniform and warmed up for the semifinal game against San Francisco, but did not play. Saint Mary's is a likely entrant in the NCAA tournament even with a loss on Monday, and it makes sense to rest up Holt for another week and a half before the tournament gets going.
Records & Seeding: No. 1 seed Saint Mary's Gaels (26-5, 14-2); No. 2 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs (25-5, 13-3)
Location: Orleans Arena in Las Vegas
Time: 6 p.m. PST
TV: ESPN, with Dave Flemming and Sean Farnham on the call.
Streaming: Live on ESPN3.com
Radio: Westwood One national network
Series History: The two schools have met in the last three WCC championship games. Gonzaga claimed the title last year with a 75-63 victory, while Saint Mary's rolled the Bulldogs the year before with an 81-62 victory. The two teams have met twelve times in the last four seasons and split the last six meetings over two seasons.
Up Next: Both teams are likely NCAA tournament entrants. The winner claims the automatic berth, while the loser has to wait six days until Selection Sunday to learn their fate.
The fifth and final day of the 2012 WCC Tournament will take place on Monday. There will be no games on Sunday due to religious services, as well as to give the final teams a day to recuperate before the big showdown. To the surprise of few, the championship game will come down to one last matchup between the two top seeds in the tournament.
The St. Mary's Gaels pulled off quite a feat when they claimed the regular-season WCC title. It marked the first time in over a decade that the Gonzaga Bulldogs did not claim at least a share of the top spot in the conferece at season's end. Now the Gaels and the Zags will face off one last time before the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
The championship game will tip off at 6:00 p.m. PT on Monday night and will be televised nationally on ESPN.
The No. 2-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs faced off against the BYU Cougars in the semifinals of the 2012 WCC Tournament in Las Vegas on Saturday night. In a bit of an anticlimax, the Bulldogs had little trouble dispatching their opponents and will head to the championship game following a victory.
The Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead and by the time halftime rolled around, they were up by 12 points, 38-26.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs will now head to the WCC Tournament final on Monday night. They will have a chance to exact revenge on the St. Mary's, Calif. Gaels, who snapped the Zags' streak of first-place seasons. The Gaels, of course, will be trying to prove that they are, indisputably, the top team in the conference.
The San Francisco Dons were hoping for one last win to earn a trip to the WCC Tournament finals, but came up empty on Saturday night. In the semifinals of the 2012 WCC Tournament in Las Vegas, the Dons were unable to make an early lead stand up, as they were defeated by the first-seeded St. Mary's Gaels, 83-78.
USF held a 38-34 lead heading into halftime and looked great in the first half. The second half saw the Gaels heat up, as they outscored their opponents 49-40 following the break. The Dons were able to close to within three points with six seconds left on the clock, but it was too little, too late.
Although contributing to the losing side, Dons guard Cody Doolin led all scorers with 28 points. Clint Steindl led St. Mary's scorers with 19 points. SMC forward Rob Jones had a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
The 2012 West Coast Conference reaches its semifinals Saturday evening and the Bay Area is guaranteed one team in the finals. The top seeded Saint Mary's Gaels will meet the fifth seeded San Francisco Dons in the first semifinal contest at 6:00pm pacific. The Dons will be looking to snap a 13-game losing streak to the Gaels. Here are the details:
Records & Seeding: No. 1 seed Saint Mary's Gaels (25-5, 14-2); No. 5 seed San Francisco Dons (20-12, 8-8)
Location: Orleans Arena in Las Vegas
Time: 6 p.m. PST
TV: ESPN2, with Dave Flemming and Sean Farnham on the call.
Streaming: Live on ESPN3
Radio: 95.7 The GAME
Series History: The two schools have met four times in the WCC Tournament, with Saint Mary's winning three of the four games. Their latest postseason matchup saw USF defeat SMC 83-66 in the opening round of the 1998 tournament, en route to a conference title. This season, Saint Mary's swept San Francisco winning 87-72 in Moraga on January 9 and 67-60 in San Francisco on February 25.
Up Next: The winner of this game will face the winner of No. 2 seed Gonzaga versus No. 3 seed BYU on Monday in the WCC Championship game at 6:00 p.m. PT.
The 2012 West Coast Conference Basketball Tournament moves into the Saturday semifinal round following the first upset of the tournament. The fifth seeded San Francisco Dons edged out the fourth seeded Loyola Marymount Lions while the third seeded BYU Cougars defeated the sixth seeded San Diego Toreros. Here is Saturday's full semifinal schedule, complete with TV and streaming information:
Matchup: No. 1 seed Saint Mary's Gaels (25-5, 14-2) vs. No. 5 seed San Francisco Dons (20-12, 8-8)
Time: 6 p.m. PT
TV: ESPN2, with Dave Flemming on play-by-play and Sean Farnham as the analyst.
Streaming: Live on ESPN3
Season Series: Saint Mary's won both meetings and currently owns a 13-game winning streak against USF
Up Next: The winner of this game advances to Monday's 6:00 p.m. PT WCC Championship game where they will face the winner of No 2 Gonzaga versus No. 3 BYU.
Matchup: No. 2 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs (24-5, 13-3) vs. No. 3 seed BYU Cougars (25-7, 12-4)
Time: 8 p.m. PT, but basically 30 minutes after SMC-USF ends.
TV: ESPN2, with Dave Flemming on play-by-play and Sean Farnham as the analyst.
Streaming: Live on ESPN3
Season Series: The schools split their two matchups this season. BYU won 83-73 in Provo on February 2, while Gonzaga won 74-63 in Spokane on February 23.
Up Next: The winner of this game advances to monday's 6:00 p.m. PT WCC Championship game where they will face the winner of No 1. Saint Mary's versus No. 5 San Francisco.
The No. 3 seed Brigham Young Cougars made their debut in the WCC men's basketball tournament Friday evening and emerged victorious with a 73-68 win over the No. 6 seed San Diego Toreros. The Cougars were 12-4 in conference play, which was enough to earn the two seed and a bye into the quarterfinals. BYU advances to face the No. 2 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs on Saturday.
BYU is wrapping up their inaugural season in the West Coast Conference, and it has not gone as smooth as they would have liked. Losing Jimmer Fredette has hurt, but they are learning that the WCC is not a significant step down from their days in the Mountain West Conference. San Diego gave them a tough battle, sitting even with them at the half. The Toreros cut the lead to three in the final minute, but missed a pair of potential game-tying threes.
The semifinals will feature Saint Mary's versus San Francisco at 6:00pm PT and Gonzaga versus BYU at approximately 8:00pm PT. Both games will be broadcast on ESPN2.
The fifth seeded San Francisco Dons continued their strong play of late as they defeated the fourth seeded Loyola Marymount Lions in the WCC tournament quarterfinals. The Dons defeated LMU 67-60 and will now face the top seeded Saint Mary's Gaels in the semifinals Saturday night at 6:00pm PT on ESPN2.
The game started off incredibly slow with neither team able to get on the board until Angelo Caloiaro put USF up 2-0 with 16:46 to go. It was a back and forth affair from there for much of the first half with LMU taking a 35-34 lead into halftime. LMU extended the lead to five, but USF proceeded to go on a 19-6 run to take an eight point lead with 6:47 to go. The Lions cut the lead to as little as three but could never get over the hump as the Dons held on to win.
USF got the victory in spite of less than stellar performances from Angelo Caloiaro, Rashad Green and Perris Blackwell. Their three leading scorers combined for only 22 points on the evening. Instead, Michael Williams led the way with 19 points, Cody Doolin added 16 and Cole Dickerson scored ten points.
The Zappos.com West Coast Conference Basketball Tournament gets into its quarterfinals on Friday evening at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Day two saw chalk advance as the No. 5 San Francisco Dons defeated the No. 8 Portland Pilots and the No. 6 San Diego Toreros defeat the No.7 Pepperdine Waves. The entire tournament is available through live streaming, with ESPNU, ESPN2 and ESPN picking up the quarterfinals, semifinals and final, respectively.
The No. 5 seed San Francisco Dons (19-12, 8-8) advance to face the the No. 4 seed Loyola Marymount Lions (19-11, 11-5) at 6 p.m. PST. The other quarterfinal matchup features the No. 6 seed San Diego Toreros (13-17, 7-9) advancing to face the No. 3 seed BYU Cougars (24-7, 12-4) 30 minutes after the conclusion of USF-LMU. Both games will be broadcast on ESPNU and live streamed on ESPN3.com.
The Dons enter the semifinals having easily rolled the Portland Pilots 87-66. They lost both their matchups to LMU during the regular season, but the two games finished with a combined three point deficit. Suffice to say, this could be one of the better matchups of the WCC tournament.
The winner of this game will face the No. 1 seed Saint Mary's Gaels (25-5, 14-2 on Saturday night in a 6 p.m. PST game televised by ESPN2. The second game Saturday night will pit the No. 2 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs against the winner of San Diego-BYU.
The San Francisco Dons got off to a strong start in WCC tournament play on Thursday as they blew out the Portland Pilots 87-66. San Francisco swept the season series and had little trouble in the second round contest. The Dons victory advances them to the quarterfinals where they will face the Loyola Marymount Lions. LMU swept the season series, although the two contests were decided by a total of three points. Their matchup will tip at 6:00pm PT on Friday.
The Pilots hung close into the under eight timeout of the first half, but things quickly fell apart from there. The Pilots were down three with 4:53 to go in the second half, but USF exploded with an 18-2 run to close the half. The Dons did not let up int he second half pushing the lead to as much as 29 before cruising to a 21-point victory. Rashad Green and Angelo Caloiaro each scored 19 points, while Perris Blackwell added 15 points. The Dons shot 50.8% from the field while the Pilots only managed a 39.7% clip.
USF player huddle
First half highlights
The Zappos.com West Coast Conference Basketball Tournament heads into day two on Thursday evening at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. A day after eighth seeded Portland knocked out ninth seeded Santa Clara, the second round brings in the first "bye teams." The entire tournament is available through live streaming, with ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU picking up the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals (in reverse order).
The No. 5 seed San Francisco Dons (18-12, 8-8) will meet the No. 8 seed Portland Pilots (7-23, 3-13) at 6 p.m. PST. The other second round matchup features the No. 6 seed San Diego Toreros (12-17, 7-9) meeting the No. 7 seed Pepperdine Waves (10-18, 4-12) 30 minutes after the conclusion of USF-Portland. Both games will be broadcast on BYUtv and live streamed on ESPN3.com.
The Dons enter the WCC tournament on a fairly strong run. They are 3-3 in their last six, but they knocked off Gonzaga and gave Saint Mary's a tough battle at War Memorial Gym in San Francisco. After a solid run through their non-conference schedule, San Francisco struggled out of the gates losing their first four conference games. They bounced back however and finished 8-8 in conference play. They have beaten Portland twice this year, with the most recent 72-71 win courtesy of a pair of Cody Doolin free throws with 17 seconds left to win.
Portland's win over Santa Clara helped them snap a six-game losing streak heading into the tournament. It has been a tough season for the Pilots with their only conference wins coming over Santa Clara and Pepperdine.
The winner of this game will face the No. 4 seed Loyola Marymount Lions on Friday night in a 6 p.m. PST game televised by ESPNU. The second game Friday night will pit the No. 3 seed BYU Cougars against the winner of San Diego-Pepperdine.
The 2012 Zappos.com West Coast Conference Tournament got underway Wednesday evening in Las Vegas as the eighth seeded Portland Pilots faced the ninth seeded Santa Clara Broncos. The Pilots ended the Broncos disappointing conference season with a 74-70 victory. Although Santa Clara hung close for much of the game, they simply could not get over the hump. Santa Clara ends a thoroughly disappointing season at 8-23.
The Pilots were paced by forward Ryan Nicholas, who scored 24 points and grabbed ten rebounds in the victory. Kevin Bailey added 13 points and Tanner Riley added 12 points. Santa Clara got 21 points from Evan Roquemore and double digits from three other players. The Broncos only turned the ball over once, but Portland hit at a 56.8% clip from the field, including 50% from three-point range.
Portland now advances to face the San Francisco Dons in the second round. San Francisco swept the season series with a 104-70 win at home and a 72-71 win in Portland. The winner of this game advances to face Loyola Marymount in the quarterfinals. The winner of that advances to face Saint Mary's in the semifinals.
The Zappos.com West Coast Conference Basketball Tournament gets going Wednesday evening at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The tournament opens with the bottom two seeds taking part in a virtual play-in game. The entire tournament is available through live streaming, with ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU picking up the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals (in reverse order).
The No. 8 seed Portland Pilots (6-23, 3-13) will meet the No. 9 seed Santa Clara Broncos (8-21, 0-16) on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. PST in a game that will be televised on WCCSports.com. The remaining games of the tournament will be televised by either BYUtv or the ESPN family of networks, including ESPNU, ESPN2, and ESPN.
The Pilots have lost six straight heading into the tournament, but will still be modest favorites over the epically struggling Santa Clara Broncos. Santa Clara went 0-16 in conference play and is in the midst of a 17-game losing streak ever since the bizarre ending in their loss to Wagner in the Cable Car Classic. Portland won their first meeting at home 84-74 and their second meeting on the road 84-78.
The winner of this game will face the No. 5 seed San Francisco Dons on Thursday night in a 6 p.m. PST game televised by BYUtv. The second game Thursday night will pit the No. 6 seed San Diego Toreros against the No. 7 seed Pepperdine Waves.
The West Coast Conference closed out its college basketball regular season schedule on Saturday night as Saint Mary's ended the Gonzaga Bulldogs decade long run at the top of the conference. The seeds are now set for the 2012 WCC Basketball Championships, which begin on Wednesday, February 28 at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
The play-in game will be available only on WCCSports.com, but the subsequent games will all be streamed on espn3.com. The quarterfinals, semifinals and finals will also be aired on the ESPN family of channels. The quarters are on ESPNU, the semis are on ESPN2 and the final matchup is on ESPN Monday, March 5.
Here is the full tournament schedule (all times PST):
Game 2: 6 p.m. - No. 5 San Francisco Dons vs. Game 1 winner (BYUtv / ESPN3)
Game 4: 6 p.m. - No. 4 Loyola Marymount Lions vs. Game 2 winner (ESPNU / ESPN3)
Game 5: 30 minutes after Game 4 - No. 3 BYU Cougars vs. Game 3 winner (ESPNU / ESPN3)
Game 6: 6 p.m. - No. 2 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Game 4 winner (ESPN2 / ESPN3)
Game 7: 30 minutes after Game 6 - No. 1 Saint Mary's Gaels vs. Game 5 winner (ESPN2 / ESPN3)
Game 8: Championship Game (6pm, ESPN / ESPN3)
The San Francisco Dons wrapped up their 2011-12 regular season on Saturday with a tough loss to the Saint Mary's Gaels. USF was locked into the fifth seed in spite of the loss thanks to San Diego's loss to Gonzaga. USF claimed a huge upset win over Gonzaga last weekend, but was unable to build on it in a tough loss to the Gaels.
San Francisco now gets to wait for their second round opponent in the WCC tournament. USF will face the winner of Santa Clara-Portland, who square off on Wednesday. The winner of that matchup will advance to face San Francisco on Thursday, March 1. The Dons swept both series and will look to continue their strong play once the tournament gets going.
USF now sits only two wins away from a potential 20-win season. If USF can beat the winner of Santa Clara-Portland and then potentially spring an upset of Loyola Marymount, they could be looking at a possible NIT appearance. It will take some strong performances over the next week, but it remains a possibility.
The Santa Clara Broncos face a long road ahead of them as they get ready for the start of the 2012 WCC tournament. After immense struggles through the WCC regular season, the Broncos will have to make their way through the play-in game before even getting a shot to advance in the WCC tournament.
The Broncos struggled throughout WCC play as they finished 0-16 in the conference. The Broncos suspended guard Kevin Foster throughout most of conference play and it cost them dearly. Without their leading scorer from 2010-11, the Broncos could not get much of anything going.
Now, Santa Clara heads to Las Vegas as the longest of long shots. They face Portland in the play-in game on Wednesday and if they are fortunate enough to pull a win off there, they would advance to face Bay Area rival, San Francisco. The Dons had little trouble with the Broncos in their two wins, claiming double digit victories in both games. At this point, Santa Clara is simply looking for any sort of conference victory.
The Saint Mary's Gaels secured their first sole WCC regular season championship on Saturday as they defeated the San Francisco Dons 67-60. Gonzaga won earlier in the day, but the Gaels took care of business in a crucial road matchup.
Saint Mary's secured the number one seed on Thursday with their win over Portland, but snagging sole possession of the conference title looks better when the NCAA selection committee is determining tournament seeding. The key for the Gaels will be taking home the WCC postseason title. A regular season title is important, but winning out in the tournament is the next big step.
Saint Mary's has earned a pair of byes in the tournament courtesy of their number one seed. Santa Clara and Portland will square off in the play-in game next Wednesday. The winner of that game advances to face San Francisco in the second round. On the other side, San Diego meets Pepperdine. The winner of San Francisco/Santa Clara/Portland then faces Loyola Marymount, while the winner of San Diego/Pepperdine faces BYU. In the semifinals, Saint Mary's fces the winner of USF/SC/UP/LMU and Gonzaga faces the winner of BYU/USD/PU.