It was a rough day for the three Bay Area schools in the West Coast Conference men’s basketball tournament: St. Mary’s College, Santa Clara University and the University of San Francisco all lost in the quarterfinals—with both SCU and USF putting up valiant efforts against top teams.
The University of San Francisco men’s basketball team won its opening-round game of the West Coast Conference Tournament, and now the Dons will face top-seeded Gonzaga in the quarterfinals on Saturday in Las Vegas. The Bulldogs are ranked seventh in both major media polls this year with their 29-2 record. It would be a major upset if USF managed to beat Gonzaga.
Santa Clara joined San Francisco as the two winners in the first-round West Coast Conference tournament, and now both Bay Area teams get to take on giants Saturday in Las Vegas. The Broncos get to face the Brigham Young Cougars, while the Dons play the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Both local teams will be big underdogs, but that’s why they play the games. After all, anything can—and often does—happen in college basketball and March Madness.
The Stanford Cardinal are firmly on the NCAA bubble, and they didn’t help themselves at all on Thursday night by losing to middling Pac-12 Arizona State on the road. Now Stanford absolutely must beat the Arizona Wildcats, ranked No. 5 in the country, on Saturday night if they want to make it to March Madness.
With a 99-60 blowout loss in Tucson against the No. 5 team in the country, the California Golden Bears men’s basketball team dropped to 17-13 on the season and lost any chance of finishing at .500 in conference play. Cal will now hope for a strong showing in the Pac-12 Tournament.
Here are the teams ranked 11-15 and a few key facts to help you get to know them.
Let’s face it, 70 percent of self-proclaimed sports fans have pretty much ignored college basketball up until this point. But by the end of the month, many of us will be screaming at our television sets hoping some 19-year-old from a university we’ve barely heard of hits his free throws. How are we going to get there?
This is the dilemma when you don’t win enough in January and February: You’re left in March scoreboard watching, hoping other teams lose. That’s where the Stanford men’s basketball team finds itself today as it prepares for its final two regular-season games.
Some of the entries on this list may surprise readers, but those who have followed the game won’t be shocked at which squad is No. 1 on this list. And who knew that the local universities have won a combined four NCAA tournament titles? Only the diehard fans in the Bay Area!
Perhaps success has spoiled the longtime fans of the Stanford Cardinal women’s basketball team, but it’s a surprise to see the team ranked just 19th in the Associated Press poll and 20th in the Coaches Poll at this point in the season. What chance do the Cardinal have in the women’s NCAA Tournament?