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2011 NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch: St. Mary's Curious Addition of Weber State

The St. Mary’s Gaels struggled closing out the regular season as they lost three straight before grabbing a WCC-season ending win against Portland. The Gaels head down to Las Vegas in a couple days for the WCC tournament where their favorite status might have taken a hit. After a strong start to the season that included a road win against Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s struggled at the end losing at San Diego, versus Utah State, and versus Gonzaga. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bulldogs were not the favorites heading into the WCC tournament.

If the Gaels are unable to win the conference tournament, they likely need to get to the finals and lose to Gonzaga for their at-large candidacy to have much merit. They’ve got the win over St. John’s, which grows in legitimacy by the day. However, they head into WCC postseason play with an RPI of 49. If they were in a power conference that might be enough. However, being in the WCC puts them at a disadvantage in that regard.

Things get a little random for St. Mary’s after the WCC conference tournament wraps up. A couple weeks back, the Gaels athletic department announced the addition of Weber State (Big Sky) to the schedule with a March 11 matchup in Moraga. If the Gaels win their conference the Weber State game simply acts as a tuneup following a week of rest. However, if the Gaels lose in the WCC tournament, this Weber State matchup could present serious complications. St. Mary should be able to handle the Wildcats, but a loss following an early exit from the WCC tournament would likely doom their postseason chances.