Is the winner of the WCC Tournament the only team heading to the Big Dance (courtesy of Andrew Nguyen).

Surviving Selection Sunday: WCC Edition


Note: From here on out, I will make a weekly post about where things stand in between the teams of the West Coast Conference and the NCAA Tournament.

In Good Shape:

Gonzaga: With no real marquee wins, and two true road game losses as well as a neutral-court loss over a good Dayton team, the Zags lack of good wins are cancelled out by a lack of good losses. However, a loss to a non-BYU, non-SMC combined with a loss at Memphis could hurt Gonzaga should they not win in Las Vegas. This past week: wins at Pepperdine and LMU.

Survive and Advance:

BYU: The Cougars loaded up with a difficult conference schedule and, as a result, have a lot of losses on their resume. Two losses to LMU and Pepperdine to start conference play hasn’t helped either. However, they have seemed to recover and have established themselves as a Top-3 WCC team. Their best win is over Texas (46) on neutral court. Wins against Stanford (57) and Utah State (95) help. Four losses against Top-50 RPI teams keep the Cougars RPI high (37) and make sure their seven losses overall aren’t as bad as they sound. This past week: wins at San Francisco and Santa Clara.

SMC: Like Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s has 8 wins over Top-150 teams. (BYU has 7). However, Saint Mary’s does have two losses against Sub 150 teams (Santa Clara and George Mason). With some good wins early on, and a marquee win at Boise State, the Gaels were rolling towards March. However, 5 losses in 8 games has put them right back on the bubble. But with Randy Bennett back and coming off a dominant performance against San Francisco, the Gaels still have a run in them. With three home games remaining before a tough trip to San Diego and BYU, the Gaels could be back and rolling by the time they land in Provo. This past week: win at home against Pacific.

 

Number Crunch

Gonzaga: RPI – 25. Best win – Saint Mary’s (56). Lunardi’s S-Curve: 23. Teamrankings projections: 25-6, 5 seed (20th on S-Curve).

BYU: RPI – 40.   Best win – Texas (37). Lunardi’s S-Curve: 69th (which means they are on his first four out). Teamrankings projections: 21-10, 12 seed (46th on the S-Curve).

SMC: RPI – 56. Best win – North Dakota State (49) or at Boise State (50).  Lunardi’s S-Curve: 72. Teamrankings projections: 22-9, 13 seed (53 on the S-Curve).

 

Teams on the bubble alongside Saint Mary’s and BYU:

George Washington
VCU
Tennesse
Dayton
Georgetown
SMU
Stanford
Arkansas
Texas
Illinois
ASU
Indiana

Side note: while I love the optimism of Teamrankings, I honestly can’t see BYU and SMC getting in with 10 and 9 losses respectively. That means three losses from here on out by BYU, 4 for Saint Mary’s.I think that that is two more losses than each team can afford.

BYU must take care of business at home and get a win at Saint Mary’s or Gonzaga for them to have a realistic chance (while not dropping any more games). Saint Mary’s needs to win all remaining home games and all road games except at BYU. Assuming Gonzaga loses only to BYU and Saint Mary’s, the WCC regular season title could be shared by the Zags and the Gaels with a conference record of 15-3 and the conference could get three teams into the Big Dance. However, while there is clear separation of the Top-3 from the rest of the conference, there remains great parity and it is not a given that Gonzaga, BYU, SMC will beat everyone who is not in the Top-3.

Links:

http://www.teamrankings.com/ncaa-tournament/bracketology/

http://insider.espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/10310556/latest-update-joe-lunardi-bracket-math-college-basketball

Tags: Basketball Brigham Young Cougars BYU BYU Basketball BYU Cougars College Basketball Featured Gonzaga Gonzaga Bulldogs Popular Saint Mary's Saint Mary's Gaels St. Mary's Gaels WCC West Coast Conference

  • Kevin O’Brien

    I think its optimistic to think that at least two teams will make the tourney from the WCC. I think BYU holds the advantage because of their ridiculous schedule at that early win over Texas was a huge boost in their favor. As for the Zags, they’re probably a lock as long as they get through without another non-SMC or BYU loss on the resume, and I think a win over Memphis or a sweep of the Gaels would probably cement it. (Though Memphis will be tough since they have been inconsistent and may need the win just as much as the Zags). As for SMC, I think the loss to SCU was killer, and I’m not sure if they can beat BYU twice to leap them either. SMC has that win over LA tech, but other than that, the resume is pretty thin.

  • joshhorton

    I think SMC and BYU have a ton of work to do as well. Like you mentioned, Saint Mary’s resume is pretty thin, with some of their home wins at the start of non-conf. season not looking as great as they used to. As for BYU, they have far too many “moral victories” in the non-conf. slate. Those losses to Pepperdine and LMU will sting as well.