30 second game guide
Bring 'em Out: No. 2 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs 23-9 (11-3 WCC) vs. No 1. seed Saint Mary's Gaels 24-7 (11-3 WCC) for the WCC tournament championship at The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas at 6 p.m. on ESPN.
Watch for: The most unpredictable game Gonzaga will play this season. I was right the first two times these two played, predicting a Zags loss at home, and a win on the road against the Gaels. This time, it's a coin flip. The way the Bulldogs played against the Dons Sunday night no-doubt had GU fans yelling at the television (or team if you were in attendance). After blowing a 13 point lead in the second half, Gonzaga somehow pulled off the win (thanks to a Chris Webber '93 National title game flashback in the final seconds). If the Zags bring anywhere near that effort tonight, you can kiss that auto bid goodbye.
Fear: A fast start by the Gaels. Normally, it's GU that jumps out to an early lead before squandering it at some point in the second half. If St. Mary's vaults out to a double-digit lead at the start, it's going to be a heckuva tall mountain to climb to get back in it. With the Gaels ability to shoot the lights out from three, this is a legitimate threat.
Respect: The Bulldogs resiliency to reach the finals. The Dons have played Gonzaga tough all three times this season. A loss last night would have crushed the Zags' hopes for an at-large bid. Despite going ice-cold in the second half, GU still managed to pull it off. A new day, a new opponent. If the rubber-match between the Bulldogs and Gaels is anything like the previous two meetings, it's going to go down to the wire one more time.
Random Stuff: Gonzaga and St. Mary's split during the regular season, with each team winning on the others home court. SMC defeated the Zags in the WCC tournament championship last year, 81-62.