In a twist exclusive to the highly revered and much-copied GolfersWest Coast Top 10 College Basketball poll, Gonzaga (23-5) was denied winning the West Coast Conference for the first time in 12 years yet has moved to No. 1 in the rankings.
The Zags (23-5), which handily knocked off BYU (24-7) Thursday 74-63, finished second to St. Mary’s (25-5) in the WCC. The Gaels won the league title for the first time in 23 years but staggered down the stretch, losing three of their final six games. The losses included a 73-59 setback to Gonzaga.
The Zags and Gaels – along with first-year power BYU – all will have an early opportunity to sort things out again as the WCC tournament begins Wednesday, one of the nation’s earliest.
It seems the three teams battling it out for the Mountain West Conference title can’t figure out how to secure the hardware. New Mexico (22-6) had a two-game lead on UNLV (24-6) and San Diego State (22-6) a week ago then lost two in a row. All three teams are tied with 8-4 conference records. It may stay that way as none will play the other two over the final weekend.
UNLV, however, may be in the driver’s seat as the conference tournament is being held at the Thomas & Mack Center on the Vegas campus.
Washington (20-8) also has pulled a half game ahead of Cal (23-7) in the Pac-12 race. The Huskies have won four in a row and nine of their last 10.
With a week to go before the bulk of the conference tournaments begin, here’s this week’s GolfersWest Coast Top 10:
No. Team (record) Rundown
- Gonzaga (23-5) Beat BYU 74-63 but failed to win WAC
- UNLV (24-6) Gearing up for ‘home’ the Mountain West tourney
- Washington (20-8) Earned tough 59-55 win at rival Washington St.
- BYU (24-7) Lost to Gonzaga Thursday, 74-63
- St. Mary’s (25-5) First outright WCC title in 23 years
- California (23-7) Lost to Colorado Sunday and Pac-12 leadership
- New Mexico (22-6) Blew it with two upset losses
- San Diego St. (22-6) Struggling down final stretch
- Long Beach St. (21-7) Fullerton stands in way of unbeaten Big West
- Arizona (21-9) Have won seven of last eightOn the cusp: Nevada (23-5), Weber State (23-4), Montana (22-6), New Mexico State (22-8), Cal-State Fullerton (19-8)