Another week of basketball has passed in the West Coast Conference and things are starting to get interesting atop the rankings. Gonzaga and BYU have controlled the number one and two spots respectively all season long, but this week the undefeated Saint Mary's Gaels made up a lot of ground, surpassing BYU for the second slot in the power rankings.
Saint Mary's improved its record to 7-0 with a dominate 93-65 win over Eastern Washington (5-3). The Gaels have flown under the radar quietly knocking off every opponent they have faced. Senior guard Stephen Holt has done an excellent job filling the role vacated by Matthew Dellavedova, who is now with the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers. Holt averages 12.6 points, 5.7 assists, and 5 rebounds per game for Saint Mary's. If there is one knock against Saint Mary's it is that the Gaels weak non-conference schedule hasn't challenged them. The Gaels face their toughest test of their non-conference opponents this week in the Boise State Broncos (7-1).
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The Pacific Tigers made their first appearance on the Mid-Major Top 15 Poll over at Mid-Major Madness this week and claim the fourth spot in our rankings once again. The Tigers got their biggest win of the season defeating Utah State (5-2) at Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan on Saturday. The only real challenging game left on Pacific's non-conference schedule is a December 20th match-up with Princeton. While the Tigers will most likely be unable to make much noise in the top three spots during the remainder of non-conference play, they will get an opportunity to prove themselves early in conference play with two of their first three games being against Saint Mary's and Gonzaga.
Our power rankings top dog, Gonzaga picked up some wins this past week downing New Mexico State (7-4) at home then grabbing a 4-point victory over West Virginia (6-4) on the road. The 20th-ranked Zags are still shooting a red hot 53.8 percent from the field, which puts them as the third best team in that category in all of Division I. Gonzaga will finish off their non-conference schedule with two games on neutral floors versus South Alabama (5-4) on December 14th and then Kansas State (6-3) on December 21st.
BYU continued its struggles against Top 25 opponents falling to 21st-ranked UMass (8-0) on a neutral floor 105-96. The Cougars' have been unable to get past a ranked opponent with all their of their losses coming to Top 25 teams. Although BYU dropped to third this week, the Cougars remain a force to be reckoned with. BYU may just be one of the better three loss teams in the entire country with the combined record of the three teams the Cougars have lost to being 24-0.
For a full breakdown of all West Coast Conference teams check out Will Maupin's State of the WCC over at Mid-Major Madness.
WCC Hoops Power Rankings: Week 5
|2||Saint Mary's||7-0||85 (1)||3|
Week 5 voters (10 total): Mid-Major Madness writer, Will Maupin, Slipper Still Fits writers, Peter Woodburn and Zach Bell, Land-Grant Holy Land and Vanquish the Foe writer, Matt Brown, and Vanquish the Foe writers, Jordan Edwards, Kevin Kennedy, Kevin Schaefer, Nate Kennedy, Nate Mathis, and Michael Murray.
What would your week 5 WCC Hoops Power Rankings ballot look like? Tell us what you think below.