Santa Clara Broncos
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.
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.
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!
Bay Area residents generally don’t think of St. Mary’s College in Moraga as being a basketball powerhouse, but the Gaels basketball team is on the verge of making the NCAA Championship Tournament for the fifth time in eight seasons if they can make a good showing this week in the West Coast Conference tournament.
There were days not so long ago when Santa Clara was the team none of the big boys wanted to play in the NCAA Tournament. Now, the Broncos struggle to even win the West Coast Conference title, thanks to the emergence of Gonzaga. But if there had been no Santa Clara, there would not be Gonzaga today.
Jared Brownridge scored 13 of his 21 points in the second half as Santa Clara held off Radford 75-62 Monday night.
Nate Kratch and Evan Roquemore each buried a pair of 3-pointers to start the second half and spark a 37-18 run that led to Santa Clara’s 60-42 win over Cal State Bakersfield Thursday night.
The Broncos were led by Brandon Clark’s 21 points, and Jared Brownridge added 16.
Brandon Clark scored 23 points, and Santa Clara held off a second-half San Jose State rally to defeat the Spartans 89-77 Tuesday night.
Kevin Foster had 24 points, Marc Trasolini had 20 points and Evan Roquemore added 19 points and Santa Clara defeated George Mason 80-77 to win the College Basketball Invitational Finals in three games on Friday night.