Bulldogs Clinch No. 1 Seed

Feb. 21, 2005

SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University's men's basketball team is assured of being the No. 1 seed in the upcoming West Coast Conference Tournament, the Bulldogs winning any tiebreaker formula with Saint Mary's College.

The Bulldogs are 11-2 in the WCC while SMC is 9-3 heading into the final week of WCC action. Gonzaga plays at the University of Portland on Thursday in an 8 p.m. game on ESPN2, a win giving the Bulldogs their fifth straight title outright. SMC plays at the University of San Diego and the University of San Francisco this Thursday and Saturday, respectively.

Since Gonzaga and Saint Mary's split their season series, the tiebreaker would come down to how each team did against other teams in descending order of finish in the WCC standings. Since Santa Clara University would finish ahead of the University of San Francisco if Gonzaga and SMC tie, the Bulldogs win the tiebreaker based on their two wins over SCU while the Broncos beat SMC twice this season.

The Gaels and USF end the regular season on Saturday. If Gonzaga loses to Portland on Thursday and SMC wins both games, it would mean SMC would beat USF which would assure the Broncos finishing higher than USF, giving the tiebreaker to Gonzaga. SCU holds a two-game lead over USF heading into this weekend, meaning SCU would have to lose twice and USF would have to win twice for those two to tie. But in that scenario it means USF would beat SMC which would give the outright WCC title to Gonzaga even if the Bulldogs lose at Portland because the Bulldogs would finish 11-3 while SMC could finish no better than 10-4.

The Bulldogs will play in the 6 p.m. semifinal on March 6 at the Leavey Center on the SCU campus. The game will be televised by ESPN2. The Bulldogs will play either the fourth, fifth or eighth-place team in the WCC in the semifinals. No. 5 meets No. 8 in Friday's first round with the winner meeting No. 4 on Saturday for the right to face Gonzaga on Sunday. The WCC Tournament title game will be Monday, March 7, at 9 p.m. on ESPN. At stake is the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.



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