The top of the West Coast Conference continues a strong start to the season as the Saint Mary's Gaels replaced the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the Top 25. Saint Mary's put together a strong week in which they knocked off the Bulldogs at home in Moraga, and bookended it with wins over San Francisco and Portland. SMC hosts Pepperdine and then travels to Santa Clara this week.
The Gaels are one of three teams with Gonzaga and BYU that are favored to win the conference. They have claimed their home games over both schools and have shot out to a 6-0 start in conference play. They will travel to Provo to face BYU on January 28 on ESPNU and then to Spokane to face Gonzaga on February 9 on ESPN2. Gonzaga and BYU will not square off until February 2 and February 23. SMC is in very solid position to claim the regular season conference title, but a split of the Gonzaga/BYU road games would put them in excellent position to take the title.
In other Bay Area news, Cal was the only Pac-12 school to receive votes, getting two votes. The Pac-12 remains a name conference but at the current pace of play, the WCC is putting together a stronger top of the class with Saint Mary's, Gonzaga and BYU all getting votes in the polls. It is possible the WCC could end up with more NCAA tournament teams than the Pac-12.