Monday Night in CBB we will see the Gonzaga Bulldogs take on the 21st ranked St Mary's Gaels in the finals of the West Coast Tournament. The game is scheduled for an 9:00 pm tipoff and will be televised live on ESPN. Currently Gonzaga is favored by 2 points with the total being set at 134 for the game. The defending champion Gonzaga Bulldogs will square off with the Saint Mary's Gaels for the fourth straight season in the championship game of the West Coast Conference Tournament.
Free Analysis: The rivalry between the Bulldogs and Gaels is continuously growing into one of the most compelling in the nation. The Gaels, which shared last year's regular season crown with Gonzaga, captured their first outright conference championship since 1989 to earn the top seed. Saint Mary's advanced to the finals with a 83-78 victory over the feisty San Francisco Dons. Both program's have found success in recent history by having talented point guards run the show and guide them to success. The newest edition of the point guard battle in the Gonzaga-Saint Mary's rivalry features Kevin Pangos and Matthew Dellavedova. Kevin Pangos, the WCC newcomer of the year, guided Gonzaga to its 15th consecutive finals appearance with a 30-point effort Saturday night in a 77-58 win over Brigham Young. "He's becoming the head of the monster up there," Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said of Pangos, a 6-foot-1 freshman. Pangos made nine 3-pointers and scored 33 points in his first career start, Nov. 14 against Washington State. On Saturday, he made five 3s and 10 of 17 shots overall. "Everything he threw up went in," Bennett said of Pangos, who chose Gonzaga over Michigan, Syracuse, Cincinnati and UNLV. Pangos's first year of collegiate basketball was made easier by his excellent supporting cast. Center Robert Sacre is the WCC Defensive Player of the Year, Elias Harris is a member of the all-league roster, and Gary Bell Jr. joined Pangos on the All-WCC Freshman team. Dellavedova is not quite as explosive as his counterpart, but he is quite effective. SMC's junior was named the WCC Player of the Year after he pushed the Gaels through the season with scrappy and consistent play. Dellavedova scored 17 points and handed out six assists in SMC's post-season opener versus USF on Saturday. The Gaels will also expect their star forward Rob Jones to have a huge impact in this one. Jones averaged a double-double this season, and continued a streak of three-straight double-doubles on Saturday as he netted 11 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in SMC's win over San Francisco. The Gaels will be without their third leading scorer Stephen Holt as he continues to rehab a knee injury. In the first game, an 83-62 Saint Mary's win Jan. 12 in Moraga, Calif., Dellavedova had a monster game. He led all scorers with 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting, including five 3s. Pangos was held to 12 points but still made three 3s., while in the last meeting between the schools, a 73-59 Gonzaga win Feb. 9 in Spokane, Wash., Pangos scored a game-high 27 points, going 5 for 6 from beyond the arc. Dellavedova led Saint Mary's with 20 points but was only 5 of 12 from the field. Gonzaga lost the battle, as it had its 11-year streak of regular season conference championships snapped this year, but is in great position to win the war tonight. The Bulldogs' appearance in tonight's championship game set a new NCAA record, as it is their 15th-straight appearance in a conference championship.
Free Pick: Gonna go with a double dip here as i like both the Zags and the UNDER. Heading into the WCC tournament I felt the Zags were the team to beat and I'm not gonna back down tonight. St Mary's had a great year as they won the regular season in the WCC with a 14-2 mark, but one of their losses was a 14 point loss to the Bulldogs. I feel though that St Mary's is not playing their best ball at the moment as they are just 4-3 in their last 7 games, which has included the 14 point lost to the Zags, a 14 point loss to Murray State, a home loss to Loyola-Cal and 2 wins over San Fran by just 7 and 5 points. Not exactly heading in to the post season on a roll. The Zags come in as winners of 8 of their last 9 games and they haven't played well in just 2 of them, with a 5 point win at San Diego and a road loss to the Dons, but in 6 of those 8 wins they did win by DD, including 2 wins over a Strong BY squad by 11 and 19 points. As for the Under, we have two of the better defensive teams in the WCC on the court tonight. The Zags come in allowing just 62.7 ppg (64th) on 41.2% shooting (83rd), while the Gaels have allowed 62 ppg (55th) and they have allowed just 62.6 ppg when they head out on the road. I look for about a 68-60 Gonzaga win here.
Betting Strategies: College Basketball Conference TournamentHost Marco D'Angelo and Pregame's own Johnny Detroit talk about how important the college basketball conference tournaments are for some teams and also discuss: Conference tournaments are purest handicap of the season and other various handicapping angles.