The 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket was revealed on Sunday (make sure and get your printable bracket!) and the selection committee decided to have a little bit of fun by putting California and Saint Mary's in the same region. Although the odds are pretty slim of both teams advancing to the regional finals, the dream remains alive!
Saint Mary's has the best chance of advancing deep into the tournament courtesy of their 7-seed. They get an inconsistent Purdue team that struggled against good teams. They follow that up with a chance against Kansas in the Round of 32. The Jayhawks are extremely talented, but have a bad habit of struggling once the Madness starts. The Gaels are likely to face Georgetown or San Diego State in the Sweet 16. Both are very tough matchups, but also quite winnable for the Gaels.
Cal on the other hand has to get through an extra game as they were slotted into the 12/12 play-in game against South Florida. A win there gets them a crack at No. 5 Temple. If they can get past the Owls, they would likely have to take down the top seed in the region in North Carolina. The Tar Heels are a very good team, but they are upset prone as we saw in the ACC finals and earlier this season against UNLV.
So, yea, you could say there's a "chance" for an all Bay Area Midwest regional final. I would not hold my breath for it, but maybe fate has a trick or two up her sleeve.
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!