It is again how it's been for so many years now: Gonzaga vs. Saint Mary's to decide the WCC champ. What's on the line aside from the obvious? I'd say a definitive mark in the seed sand. Whoever wins this is likely to get a five seed, while the loser could be a six, maybe even a seven. (You can make the case Saint Mary's should be a six if it wins, yes.)
The game tips at 9 ET on ESPN.
The battle of two entertaining guards will guide the title game. Gonzaga's Kevin Pangos is on his way to becoming a household name. He had 30 points in Gonzaga's 77-58 win over BYU Saturday night. He's turning into the Bulldogs' primary scoring option, and that will only grow as the years come. Pangos has in fact had a few nights this season where he's gone bombs-away and killed off some teams. He has an offensive rating of 122.8, which is quite good.
Pangos' foil is Saint Mary's junior guard Matthew Dellavedova. Delly almost never leaves the floor for SMC. He's reliable and fun as hell to watch. He is also the Player of the Year in the WCC. If you're looking for other reasons to watch, Elias Harris vs. Rob Jones, a couple of forwards, could get interesting.
What this boils down to is we'll likely have a very entertaining game between two teams capable of making the second weekend of the NCAAs. With all this tense, rousing basketball in so many conference tournaments, it is nice to get a few games out there that are for pride, some seeding and bragging rights. Neither of these teams will be pressing if they lose by 10, and that's OK.
One more note about the final. In a rare smart move by organizers of tournaments, the center-court sticker has been taken off for the ultimate game at the Orleans Arena. There had been multiple slips on the surface in the previous rounds, and so to avoid any serious injury, the teams will play the game on its natural appearance. What a concept.
-- Matt Norlander