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WCC Standings 2012: Saint Mary's Takes Early Command Of Conference

While the Pac-12 continues its descent into awful basketball, the West Coast Conference has emerged as a challenger for the best conference on the west coast. The WCC has plenty of question mark teams, but the top of the conference can challenge most anybody on the west. With a chance to send three teams to the NCAA tournament, the WCC could join the Mountain West in leaving the Pac-12 in their respective dust.

The Saint Mary's Gaels used a 3-0 week to climb into the AP and Coaches Top 25. The biggest win was a thumping of then-ranked Gonzaga, which gave the Gaels home wins over both Gonzaga and BYU. Those three schools are the favorites for the regular season title and every home win is key.

This week, Saint Mary's will host Pepperdine and travel to Santa Clara. Gonzaga will host San Francisco and San Diego. BYU will travel to San Diego, host Loyola Marymount and wrap up the week traveling to Pepperdine. If form holds, all three should win those games. There are occasionally some surprising upsets, but at the moment, Saint Mary's, Gonzaga and BYU seem to be the class of the conference.

Santa Clara and San Francisco have both struggled out of the gates with SC sitting in the cellar at 0-4 in conference play, while USF is 2-4 in conference play. USF travels to Gonzaga and Portland in what will be a tough week. They need a split and would love to spring the huge upset in Spokane. Santa Clara only has one game this week, but it's a tough one at home against Saint Mary's. An 0-5 start was not what they expected after the success they had last season.

West Coast Conference Standings

(updated 1.15.2012 at 11:18 PM PST)

Conf Overall
St. Mary's, Calif. Gaels 6 0 17 2
BYU Cougars 4 1 15 4
Gonzaga Bulldogs 4 1 14 3
Loyola Marymount Lions 3 2 10 8
Portland Pilots 2 3 5 13
San Francisco Dons 2 4 12 8
San Diego Toreros 1 3 6 10
Pepperdine Waves 1 5 7 10
Santa Clara Broncos 0 4 8 9