Have you heard the news yet?
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are the No. 1 team in the nation this week.
Yes, the Bulldogs are scooping up a lot of national headlines, so in turn comes their credibility, which is of course well deserved within the West Coast Conference. Behind the ‘Zags however, is another dangerous mid-major squad that also has the intangibles to make some noise within the NCAA Tournament.
Saint Mary’s will enter the conference tournament with an overall record of 26-5 and their only two blemishes in WCC play have come at the hands of Gonzaga. If things work out according to plan however, the two could once again square off as part of the conference tournament title game. Wouldn’t that be great.
The focal point for the Gaels is Australian-native and senior leader Matthew Dellavedova. The 6-foot-4 guard was a member of the 2010 Gaels’ squad that advanced all the way to the Sweet 16 just a few seasons ago, so head coach Randy Bennett knows that he has a veteran floor general with March experience.
With Dellavedova leading the way in both points and assists, the Gaels are gearing up for what they hope could be a special run in March. Given their talent level, a Cinderella run could certainly be an option depending on the match-ups that they are given when the bracket is released.
However, at this point Saint Mary’s remains focused on the West Coast Conference Tournament. If they can potentially break through against Gonzaga, their seeding would certainly improve.
Selection Sunday is a week and a half away, but feel free to begin keeping tabs on Saint Mary’s as one of this year’s potential dark horse threats.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS