The AP Poll and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll have both been released and the St. Mary's Gaels continues to creep along as they pile up the wins. While Cal and Stanford look to build through youth movements, Saint Mary's is riding the hot hand of senior guard Mickey McConnell. The Gaels earned a pair of road wins at Santa Clara and San Francisco this week, which helped to increase their vote totals in both polls.
St. Mary's remains unranked in the AP Poll but added thirty votes and moved from fifth in receiving votes to third in receiving votes. In the Coaches Poll the Gaels remained No. 23, but added 75 votes and is one vote behind Kentucky for No. 22. St. Mary's has an opportunity this week to gain some headway courtesy of ESPN's Bracketbuster special. After traveling to San Diego in conference play on Wednesday, St. Mary's hosts the No. 24/25 Utah State Aggies at 6:00pm pacific on ESPN2. A win against Utah State would solidify the Gaels increasingly impressive resume. St. Mary's is currently No. 30 in the RPI and a win over the No. 23 Aggies would really boost their computer rating.
Meanwhile, the Pac-10 continues its struggles as they have only Arizona in the Top 25 in either poll. Washington and UCLA are both getting votes. Stanford and Cal will both get a crack at taking UCLA down a notch this week as the SoCal schools make their annual Bay Area road trip. Stanford gets the first crack at UCLA on Thursday, with Cal getting the Bruins on Saturday. After the UCLA/USC homestand, Stanford and Cal wrap up their regular seasons with the Oreon/Oregon State road trip and then Cal hosting Stanford.
Cal, Stanford and Oregon are currently tied at 6-7, with USC sitting at 5-7. It's entirely possible the upcoming Oregon games will leave this middle of the "Pac" group completely jumbled up heading into the Pac-10 tournament. Washington State is one game ahead of these schools at 7-6 but still has to travel to Arizona and Washington before the end of the season. This mess could get even worse depending on how the next two weeks shake out.