What-to-know tourney previews: West Coast Conference
Does Saint Mary's need to get to the title game to secure a bid in the NCAA tourney?
1. Can Gonzaga win the league tourney and earn a No. 1 seed?
If the Zags run the table in Vegas, it's difficult to imagine Mark Few's team getting squeezed out of a No. 1 overall seed. These guys have run the table in the league in the regular-season and knocked off a pair of ranked teams -- Kansas State and Oklahoma State -- in the non-league slate.
2. Does Saint Mary's need to get to the title game to secure a bid in the NCAA tourney?
If the Gaels lose to Gonzaga on Monday night, Randy Bennett & Co. won't be sweating it. However, if they can't get out of the semifinals (and remember, they earned a double-bye and would only have to win one game to get to the finals), then Saint Mary's will have to pray on Selection Sunday. The Gaels have that BracketBusters win over Creighton, but there's not much else substance in the non-conference slate.
3. Who is the best story in the WCC tourney?
Tyler Haws. BYU's sophomore wing missed the past two seasons while on a Mormon Mission, and he's come back and is averaging 20.9 points and 4.7 rebounds. It's a really cool story -- and if Haws and big man Brandon Davies both get hot in Vegas, the Cougars could pull off the upset and earn an automatic bid.
Schedule: All games at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas: March 6 (8 vs. 9); March 7 (5 vs. 8/9 winner and 6 vs. 7); March 8 (quarterfinals); March 9 (semifinals); March 11 (championship).
March 6 (quarterfinals), March 9 (semifinals) and March 13 (title game) -- all games at site of higher seed.
Title game: Monday, March 11, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN (at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas).
THREE BEST PLAYERS
- Kelly Olynyk (Gonzaga)
- Matthew Dellavedova (Saint Mary's)
- Tyler Haws (BYU)
Conference RPI: 10
KenPom.com rating: 10
Sagarin rating: 10
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