As we draw closer to March Madness, I can’t help but to analyze each conference for teams either worth an At-large bid or one whom is on the bubble. Here, I examine the West Coast Conference, which according to KenPom is the 11th best conference. Since 2004, the Gonzaga Bulldogs and St. Mary’s Gaels have been the West Coast Conference’s top two teams for ten of the thirteen seasons in that span. That includes this season, one in which the Saint Mary’s Gaels finished as the conference leaders and had swept the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the regular season. However, the Bulldogs got the last laugh, as they beat the Gaels in the West Coast Conference Tournament Finals. The question that remains, are the Gaels worthy of an At-large bid?
Best Teams: Gonzaga Bulldogs, St. Mary’s Gaels, BYU Cougars, Pepperdine Wave
At-large: Gonzaga Bulldogs, St. Mary’s Gaels
On The Bubble: BYU Cougars
Note: The BYU Cougars are on the back end of the bubble and very likely to be NIT bound. As for the Gaels, this is a tough call. On one end, they swept the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the regular season. On the other end, besides the two wins against the Bulldogs, their other best wins come against the BYU Cougars, UC Irvine Anteaters, Stanford Cardinals and Grand Canyon Antelopes. It’s not much of a resume, but the two wins over the Bulldogs will certainly carry some weight on Selection Sunday. We’ll have to wait until then…