Zags Upset In WCC Championship Game
SAN DIEGO — Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament stock slipped a little Monday night when they lost to the San Diego Toreros in the WCC Championship game. Still, the Zags are considered a lock for the NCAA tournament.
The 20th ranked Bulldogs lost 69 to 62, trailing for the vast majority of the game. Jeremy Pargo led all scorers with 22 points, but it wasn’t enough for GU to overcome the Toreros, who had four players in double digits.
USD’s home court advantage in the tournament proved too much for the Zags to overcome. San Diego led by three at halftime and were able to cling to that lead until the final horn sounded, when students stormed the court.
The Toreros now receive the WCC’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament, making their fourth ever appearance in the Big Dance. It was San Diego’s first WCC title since 2003, the one year Gonzaga hasn’t won the conference tournament since 1999.
While Gonzaga’s loss was disheartening, some see it as a good thing overall for the West Coast Conference. San Diego is now in automatically while two other conference teams – Gonzaga and St. Mary’s – are also expected to receive a tournament invitation.
If that happens, it will mark the first time in WCC history that three teams take part in the same NCAA tournament.
In a daily breakdown
of where teams stand in the tournament selection process, ESPN.com’s Andy Glockner has Gonzaga solidified as a “lock”, while St. Mary’s is put down as a team that “should be in.”
Before the WCC title game, fellow college hoops analyst Joe Lunardi predicted the Zags would be a six seed when tournament selections are announced on Sunday. Though they’re likely to slip a seed or two in light of the loss, they still appear to be in good shape for a bid.
Lunardi also had St. Mary’s in as a nine seed. This will, in all likelihood, mark the tenth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance for the Bulldogs.