The WCC regular season is hitting the home stretch, as only two weeks remain (4 games) before the conference tournament starts. If St Mary’s and Gonzaga both win out, the 1 seed in the conference tournament would be decided by RPI. The Gaels have a slight edge right now (29 to 37), but a road win for Gonzaga over BYU in the regular season finale may be enough to push them over the top.
Here is how each team fared, starting from the top down in conference standings:
Saint Mary’s (13-1, 24-3)
Thursday: W at LMU, 83-62
Saturday: L vs Gonzaga, 65-78
KenPom Ranking: 17
After winning 19 games in a row, including beating Gonzaga at The Kennel, St Mary’s was outmatched from start to finish by Gonzaga in Moraga. Jock Landale finished the game with only four shot attempts, as the Zags relentlessly double teamed him all night, and used their superior length and athleticism to close out shooters.
They’ll look to get back on track this week with a pair of road games versus San Francisco and Portland.
Gonzaga (13-1, 23-4)
Thursday: W at Pacific, 71-61
Saturday: W vs St Mary’s, 78-65
KenPom Ranking: 9
After appearing mortal the past couple weeks with some close wins, Gonzaga absolutely dominated St Mary’s in a game that wasn’t as close as the 13-point final margin indicates. Budding star Rui Hacimura seems to be the next great Gonzaga player, and Gonzaga looks like the team to beat in Vegas in a few weeks.
They have a pair of home games this week versus WCC bottom dwellers LMU and Pepperdine.
BYU (9-5, 20-7)
Thursday: W vs Santa Clara, 80-58
Saturday: W vs San Francisco, 75-73
KenPom Ranking: 62
After an easy win over Santa Clara, BYU needed a miracle in the last minute to get by San Francisco. With some late game heroics from Elijah Bryant, TJ Haws and company, BYU was able to erase a seven-point deficit in the final minute of regulation to send the game to OT. Although BYU is out of the at-large picture, that type of win could inspire BYU down the stretch to spring an upset of two in Vegas.
BYU hits the road this week with matchups at Pepperdine (where they’ve lost 4-in-a-row!) and San Diego.
Pacific (8-6, 13-14)
Thursday: L vs Gonzaga, 61-71
Saturday: W vs Portland, 60-58
KenPom Ranking: 158
Pacific did what they were supposed to this week, as they put up a fight versus Gonzaga and pulled out a last-second win over Portland. With no more games versus St Mary’s or Gonzaga, they’ll challenge BYU for the 3 seed in the WCC tournament over these final two weeks.
San Diego (7-7, 16-10)
Thursday: W at Pepperdine, 68-66
Saturday: L at Santa Clara, 64-70
KenPom Ranking: 124
The Torreros have lost 3 of their last 4 games, and needed a late comeback to squeak by the worst WCC team in Pepperdine.
They’ll get a chance to move up the standings this week, as they draw BYU and Pacific both at home.
San Francisco (6-8, 14-13)
Thursday: W vs Portland, 65-63
Saturday: L at BYU, 73-75
KenPom Ranking: 156
After a close win over Portland, San Francisco suffered a gut-wrenching loss in Provo. The Dons have played better as of late, and will be a tough out in the first round of the WCC tournament.
They get St Mary’s and LMU at home this week.
Santa Clara (6-8, 9-17)
Thursday: L at BYU, 58-80
Saturday: W vs San Diego, 70-64
KenPom Ranking: 277
Santa Clara had lost 5 of 6 games before getting the victory over San Diego. KJ Feagin is one of the best guards in the WCC, so Santa Clara will always have the threat of having Feagin go off in a game.
We’ll see if they can carry the momentum of a nice win with road games versus Portland and Pacific.
Portland (4-10, 10-17)
Thursday: L at San Francisco, 63-65
Saturday: L at Pacific, 58-60
KenPom Ranking: 245
After starting 0-6 in WCC play, the Pilots have quietly been the conference’s most improved team over the past month. They suffered a pair of 2-point losses this past week, but they have shown that they can be competitive with every team outside of Gonzaga and St Mary’s.
They get home games versus Santa Clara and St Mary’s this week.
Loyola Marymount (3-11, 8-17)
Thursday: L vs St Mary’s, 62-83
Saturday: W vs Pepperdine, 85-79
KenPom Ranking: 233
LMU got spanked by St Mary’s before winning the cellar-dwellers game over Pepperdine. BYU’s loss at LMU does not look good at all.
They on the road this week to face off versus Gonzaga and San Francisco.
Pepperdine (1-13, 4-22)
Thursday: L vs San Diego, 66-68
Saturday: L at LMU, 79-85
KenPom Ranking: 306
Pepperdine was competitive in both games, but their nightmare season continues. They host BYU on Thursday, whom they’ve beaten 4 straight years in Malibu. They finish off the week at Gonzaga, which could be the biggest mismatch of the WCC season.