Gonzaga's No. 1 seed at risk after shocking loss to Saint Mary's in WCC championship
The Gonzaga Bulldogs may have to sweat out Selection Sunday a lot more than anyone expected. In their final game of the season, the Bulldogs suffered a shocking upset against Saint Mary’s in the WCC championship game.
The Bulldogs struggled early in the contest, and found themselves trailing by three points with roughly eight minutes left to go. While the team tried to creep back into the game, Saint Mary’s continued to hit clutch shots, eventually winning the game 60-47.
A number of standout players for Gonzaga struggled during the game. Rui Hachimura, who led the team with 21.4 point per game, was held to just nine points against Saint Mary’s. He took only six shots during the contest. Brandon Clarke managed to score 16 points, though only took eight shots.
Instead of letting Hachimura and Clarke go off, Saint Mary’s decided to let Gonzaga’s guards decide the game. They couldn’t get it done. Zach Norvell Jr. went 1-for-11 from the field. Josh Perkins went 4-for-14.
The surprising loss puts Gonzaga in a difficult spot entering Selection Sunday. Our own Jeff Eisenberg believed Gonzaga had a strong chance to earn a No. 1 seed in the tournament “unless the Zags suffer a stunning upset against Saint Mary’s in the WCC title game on Tuesday night.”
It’s possible Gonzaga will still secure a No. 1 seed even with the loss. The Bulldogs were the only team to defeat Duke while Duke was at full strength.
Still, the loss makes it possible Gonzaga slips. Ultimately, it shouldn’t matter. Gonzaga will still be seeded well and should have a good shot at making a deep run in the tournament.
But after putting themselves in tremendous shape after a full season of big wins, Gonzaga has to be disappointed that their final game may have cost them a No. 1 seed.
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