30 second game guide
Bring’em Out: WCC Tournament semifinal round between No. 18/14 (AP/Coaches polls) Gonzaga 25-5 (12-2 WCC) and Loyola Marymount 18-14 (7-7 WCC) at Orleans Arena Sunday at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
Watch for: Gonzaga to release pent-up aggression on the Lions. I realize I’m going out on a limb by saying this, considering the rematch with the Dons was much closer than expected (especially following a loss to USF in the first meeting). I truly believe Mark Few will have his troops fired up and rested enough to blow past LMU, who will be playing its third game in as many days.
Fear: A hot-shooting Lions team. I do predict a lopsided GU win, but that could haywire if Loyola Marymount catches fire and shoots the lights out. That will only add to the Lions’ confidence, which is already high after beating the Zags the last time these two faced each other.
Respect: Loyola Marymount as a legitimate threat in the West Coast Conference. Unlike years past, where the conference offered just one or two strong teams, the WCC is having a banner year. In addition to GU, Saint Mary’s, Portland, San Francisco and even LMU can be tossed into the “legitimate” category. That’s more than half the conference. Hopefully the NCAA committee recognizes the strength of this year’s league and rewards the Bulldogs if-and-when they win the conference tournament.
Random Stuff: Gonzaga owns a 50-23 advantage in the all-time series, and has won 29 of the last 32 meetings. LMU bested GU 74-66 February 18th. Oregon’s Ernie Kent was reportedly fired as head men’s basketball coach Saturday, which means Mark Few’s name will be thrown around as a possible replacement (Oregon is Few’s alma mater). Just giving you a heads up.