Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s meet in first WCC clash

Gonzaga and Saint Mary's meet in first WCC clash

Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s have dominated the West Coast Convention, combining to win 17 straight regular-season championships and 17 of 19 convention match titles.

The Zags broke by means of after sweeping each titles final season, making an unprecedented run to the Closing 4.

The Gaels had been the preseason favourite this 12 months after returning practically everybody from a staff that received 29 video games and reached the second spherical of the NCAA Match.

Spherical 1 of their annual two-game highway to the WCC title comes Thursday at The Kennel in Spokane.

“Clearly it is two of the highest groups in league and it will be a lot anticipated,” Gonzaga guard Silas Melson mentioned after the Zags beat San Francisco 75-65 on Saturday.

Gonzaga (16-Three, 6-Zero WCC) misplaced 4 key gamers from final 12 months’s nationwide runner-up, however returning starters Johnathan Williams and Josh Perkins have made certain there’s been no letdown within the Inland Northwest.

Gonzaga had an early-season loss to Florida, one other to present No. 1 Villanova and a considerably stunning setback to San Diego State in its nonconference finale. For the reason that WCC season began, the Zags have reeled off one lopsided win after one other, none underneath 10 factors.

Saint Mary’s , led by preseason All-American Jock Landale, had consecutive losses to Washington State and Georgia in late November, however have since received 12 straight. The Gaels (17-2, 6-Zero) rolled over Pepperdine 91-67 on Saturday to arrange the showdown between the WCC’s prime two groups.

Value watching, this one.

BIG EAST BATTLE: The Large East has large video games each week. The largest of this week: No. 11 Xavier at No. 19 Seton Corridor.

The Musketeers (16-Three, Four-2 Large East) reached No. 5 within the Jan. 1 AP Prime 25 however dropped 5 spots after consecutive losses to Windfall and Villanova. Xavier bounced again with a 22-point win over Creighton on Saturday to stay a sport behind Villanova and Seton Corridor within the Large East.

The Pirates dropped six spots on this week’s ballot after dropping to Marquette and beating Georgetown final week.

Xavier performs St. John’s on Wednesday and Seton Corridor is at Creighton earlier than they meet on the Prudential Heart in Newark, New Jersey, on Saturday.

TAR HEELS AND TIGERS: The highest sport within the ACC this week comes on Tuesday, when No. 15 North Carolina hosts No. 20 Clemson.

The Tar Heels (14-Four, Three-2 ACC) took an enormous tumble within the ballot after consecutive losses to Florida State and Virginia, dropping eight spots to No. 20. Wins over Boston Faculty and Notre Dame final week gave North Carolina a lift, shifting the Tar Heels up 5 spots on this week’s ballot.

Clemson (15-2, Four-1) has been one of many greatest surprises in faculty basketball. The Tigers had been picked to complete 13th within the ACC preseason ballot after three straight mediocre seasons however are only a sport again of Virginia for the ACC lead to date this 12 months.

“If we proceed to do what we do and proceed to play the way in which we have been taking part in, we are able to do something,” Clemson’s Donte Grantham mentioned after the Tigers knocked off then-No. 18 Miami.

BEDLAM BASKETBALL: The season has already seen its share of rivalry video games, together with Kentucky and Louisville, Arizona and Arizona State, Kansas and Kansas State.

Bedlam occurs on Saturday.

Oklahoma (14-2, Four-1) has been one of many nation’s finest groups behind star freshman Trae Younger, shifting as much as No. Four on this week’s ballot after beating Texas and TCU final week. The Sooners entered this week in a four-way tie for the Large 12 lead with No. 6 West Virginia, No. eight Texas Tech and No. 10 Kansas.

Oklahoma State (12-5) has struggled at occasions in its first season underneath coach Mike Boynton and has performed underneath the cloud of the bribery scandal that led to the firing of assistant coach Lamont Evans.

Sure, it is a mismatch on paper, however rivalry video games have a means of crumpling up the paper and shoot it into the rubbish can.

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Extra AP faculty basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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