After the most successful regular season in school history, the Saint Mary's Gaels have landed the No. 7 seed in the Midwest region for this year's NCAA Tournament. One of three teams from the West Coast Conference to get a bid, the Gaels received solid seeding. Of course, considering they claimed the regular season and postseason titles, one might have expected a slightly higher spot.
The Midwest region should pose numerous challenges for a talented Saint Mary's squad. In the first round, the Gaels will be facing tenth-seeded Purdue, with the winner moving on to likely face No. 2-seeded Kansas in the second round. The Jayhawks face a solid enough Detroit Titans team, but the odds are long for Detroit.
Saint Mary's returns to the tournament two years after they made a modest Cinderella run as a ten seed. They knocked off seventh-seeded Richmond and second-seeded Villanova before losing to Baylor. They are back in the 7/10 matchup and will look for some more magic if they can get into a game with Kansas. If they can upset Kansas, Saint Mary's would get a chance at the likes of San Diego State, Georgetown, NC State or Belmont.
The Midwest region has a lot of talented teams, but the Gaels have a chance to make some noise. They tripped up a bit late in the regular season and almost blew the WCC championship game against Gonzaga, but they have enough talent to do some damage in March.
Brackets on the brain? Us too! Play Yahoo! Tourney Pick'em and be a part of the craziest month of college basketball. It is fun, easy, and free. For more coverage of St. Mary's in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, visit the SB Nation Bay Area NCAA Tournament Storystream. Click here for a link to our 2012 NCAA Bracket. And of course, make sure and get your printable bracket!