Brad Waldow scored 16 points, James Walker III added 15, and Saint Mary’s beat Akron 85-63 early Tuesday morning.
Gonzaga has been chosen to win the West Coast Conference by the league’s coaches.
Down by five with only a few seconds remaining, Matthew Dellavedova and Saint Mary’s nearly pulled off an NCAA tournament stunner.
The Gaels are unbeaten since December against everyone but Gonzaga. Saint Mary’s (28-6) beat Middle Tennessee on Tuesday night to advance to the round of 64.
Saint Mary’s (27-6) isn’t complaining about traveling for the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. They’re just glad to get away from rival Gonzaga, which was No. 1 in the final AP college basketball poll on Monday and got the top seed in the West Regional. Saint Mary’s lost to the Zags three times during the season, including the conference tournament.
Saint Mary’s lost to Gonzaga in its conference tournament final, but made it to the NCAA tournament anyway.
Matthew Dellavedova scored 19 points and made five 3-pointers to lead Saint Mary’s to a 74-66 victory against Creighton in a BracketBusters game on Saturday.
From the moment he arrived at Saint Mary’s as a shaggy-haired freshman from Australia with a multicolored mouth guard and an old-school game, it was clear Matthew Dellavedova would be something special.
Isaiah Canaan scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half and senior Donte Poole added 11 as No. 16 Murray State beat No. 21 Saint Mary’s 65-51 on Saturday night for its most convincing win to date over a nationally recognized opponent.
Rob Jones had 10 points and 12 rebounds as Saint Mary’s routed San Francisco State 86-52 on Sunday.