Last night brought a major stolen bid, with a shocker in the WCC Championship. After losing in this game by 48 during the regular season, Saint Mary’s put together an impressive performance to beat Gonzaga, and claim an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
That gives the WCC an unexpected second berth in the tournament this year. Occasionally the league has Saint Mary’s or BYU make an at-large push but this season it looked like Gonzaga would be the lone recipient.
Instead, the Bulldogs dropped their first league game of the year, and the Gaels are back in the dance. They last appeared in 2017.
Even with the shocking loss, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi still has Gonzaga as a No. 1 seed in his new Bracketology.
He updated his 68-team field today, and the Bulldogs have the top spot in the West. Saint Mary’s crashes the field as the No. 12 seed in the South Region.
Of course, Lunardi’s word isn’t gospel. If things fall correctly in the ACC Tournament, the league could conceivably land three No. 1 seeds, with Duke, UNC, and Virginia. Other teams like Kentucky, Michigan State, and Tennessee will also figure into the conversation.
Here is what the top four seed lines look like, from Lunardi’s update earlier today:
East Region (Washington, D.C.):
Midwest Region (Kansas City):
- North Carolina
- Michigan State
- Texas Tech
South Region (Louisville):
- Kansas State
West Region (Anaheim):
- Florida State
Other notable seeds include: Auburn (Midwest 5), Virginia Tech (South 5), Louisville (East 7), Ole Miss (East 9), Oklahoma (Midwest 9), Iowa (South 9), Syracuse (West 9), Texas (East 11), and Florida (West 11).
Lunardi’s bracket was published before the start to today’s ACC Tournament action. He had Clemson in the Midwest First Four game as a 12-seed, but with the Tigers’ dramatic loss to NC State today, things aren’t looking good for them. He does have the Wolfpack in as an 11 seed, in the South play-in.