The Saint Mary's Gaels recent struggles (losing three of four in a decisive manner) had dropped them from a potential four or five seed all the way to an eight or nine seed. They bounced back with a big win over the San Francisco Dons to wrap up conference play and secure the WCC's outright regular season title. They have been on top of the conference all season long, but getting the title is a handy trinket in the eyes of the selection committee.
The Gaels head into the WCC postseason tournament looking to add a postseason title to their list of accomplishments. If they can win their semifinal matchup, they would likely get a chance at either Gonzaga or BYU. Wins over Loyola Marymount and either of those schools would be a benefit to their case for a higher seed.
Joe Lunardi will release his latest bracket early this morning, but Sunday afternoon he released a teaser of things to come. He provided an abbreviated version of his bracket, focusing in on his S-Curve Projection. In that he has Saint Mary's on the eight line, but at the very top as the No. 29 team.
Lunardi has New Mexico immediately ahead of the Gaels and Gonzaga further in front. If SMC can win the conference tournament, that alone should be enough to get them ahead of the Bulldogs. Additionally, Lunardi has San Diego State on the same seven line as New Mexico. That opens some room for change there as well. If Saint Mary's can get off the eight line and into seven territory it provides a boost for their chances at making any sort of run in March.