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WCC Men’s Basketball Week in Review and Look Ahead to Upcoming Week

St. Mary’s established itself as the team to beat with a big win at Gonzaga

St Mary's v Gonzaga Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

With WCC play nearly at the halfway mark, we have a good idea of where the conference stands eight games in. St. Mary’s came into the season as the preseason favorite, and they proved their worth this week with a big win at Gonzaga and close call at Pacific.

Here is how each team fared, starting from the top down in conference standings:

St. Mary’s (19-2, 8-0)

Thursday: W at Gonzaga, 74-71

Saturday: W at Pacific, 72-69

KenPom Ranking: 16

St. Mary’s picked up the signature win of the week, knocking off Gonzaga at the Kennel. They nearly gave that back with a down-to-the-wire game at Pacific, but they avoided the upset. A big showdown awaits versus BYU in Moraga, which will give further clarity to the top of the WCC standings.

Gonzaga (17-4, 7-1)

Thursday: L vs St. Mary’s, 71-74

Saturday: W at Santa Clara, 75-60

KenPom Ranking: 7

Gonzaga lost to St. Mary’s in Spokane for the second time in three years. They bounced back with a road win at Santa Clara, and this week they’ll get a pair of teams of teams in the bottom half of the WCC in Portland and San Francisco.

BYU (17-4, 6-2)

Thursday: W vs LMU, 82-67

Saturday: W vs San Diego, 74-58

KenPom Ranking: 50

Big week ahead, with a huge matchup Thursday at St. Mary’s and rematch with Pacific Saturday.

Pacific (10-11, 5-3)

Thursday: W vs Pepperdine, 92-78

Saturday: L vs St. Mary’s, 69-72

KenPom Ranking: 164

After taking St. Mary’s down to the wire Saturday night, Pacific is proving to be the surprise team in the conference. Damon Stoudamire has done a nice rebuilding job in Stockton and upgrading the talent. We’ll get a good idea of where Pacific stands after this week, as they have road contests vs San Francisco and BYU.

San Diego (13-7, 4-4)

Thursday: L vs Portland, 49-55

Saturday: L vs BYU, 58-74

KenPom Ranking: 123

After a great non-conference showing (which included a road win at Colorado) and a nice start to WCC play, San Diego had a rough couple of games this past week. The Torreros were close to cracking the top 100 in KenPom until a terrible home loss to Portland. San Diego will look to rebound this week with games against Santa Clara and LMU.

Santa Clara (7-13, 4-4)

Thursday: W at San Francisco, 65-62

Saturday: L vs Gonzaga, 60-75

KenPom Ranking: 271

Santa Clara held steady with a nice at San Francisco and loss to Gonzaga. They’ll head down to Southern California with games at San Diego and Pepperdine.

San Francisco (11-10, 3-5)

Thursday: L vs Santa Clara, 62-65

Saturday: W vs Pepperdine, 80-73

KenPom Ranking: 151

San Francisco looked like a threat to BYU for the third spot in the WCC before conference play started, but the Dons have had a rough start to conference play. If they can stay in the top 150 of the KemPom rankings, that would be a positive for BYU.

Portland (8-13, 2-6)

Thursday: W at San Diego, 55-49

Saturday: W at LMU, 72-65

KenPom Ranking: 266

Portland pulled off the stunner of the week by going into San Diego and pulling out the W. Portland relies on the three more than any other team in conference, so there’s always upset potential with them. That doesn’t look likely to happen this week as they draw both Gonzaga and St. Mary’s

Loyola Marymount (6-13, 1-7)

Thursday: L at BYU, 67-82

Saturday: L vs Portland, 65-72

KenPom Ranking: 235

LMU continues to struggle in the WCC, as they find themselves at the bottom once again. Gotta wonder if Coach Mike Dunlap, former coach of the Charlotte Bobcats, will be around much longer. They draw Pepperdine and San Diego this week.

Pepperdine (3-17, 0-8)

Thursday: L at Pacific, 78-92

Saturday: L at San Francisco, 73-80

KenPom Ranking: 291

Pepperdine is downright awful this season. The Waves have not won a game since December 5. They may have a shot this week with home tilts versus LMU and Santa Clara.