The Saint Mary's Gaels enter Saturday action looking to wrap up their 2011-12 regular season with some positive momentum before the WCC tournament starts next Wednesday. The Gaels defeated Portland on Thursday to lock up the number one seed and bye to the semifinals, but they had lost three of four prior to that, dropping road games to Gonzaga and Murray State and a home game to Loyola Marymount.
Saint Mary's is just about assured a spot in the NCAA tournament, but they are looking to boost their seeding in these finals weeks. SB Nation and Joe Lunardi are both projecting the Gaels as an eight seed. The 8/9 matchup is one of the worst to get in part because you know you are going to face the number one seed over the weekend. Upsets do happen, but it's a tough second round matchup.
The Gaels are already getting a little bit of help as the season winds down. Notre Dame is projected anywhere from a four to a seven seed and was upset by 13-16 St. John's. It will not be enough to drop the Irish below the Gaels, but it gets them moving in the right direction. If SMC can beat San Francisco Saturday night and then win the WCC postseason tournament, they could very well work themselves up to a six or a five seed.