March 10, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs center Przemek Karnowski (24, left) and guard Gary Bell Jr. (5, right) celebrate after cutting down the net against the Brigham Young Cougars after the game in the finals of the West Coast Conference tournament at Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Here at Fantasy CPR, we will keep you up to date on which teams are fighting for a tournament berth, which teams are in, and which teams should be in. We will go conference by conference for the major conferences. The traditional one bid conferences will all get their day in print as well. Follow along as we unveil our projected teams up until Selection Sunday!
Up next, we will take a look at the West Coast Conference. The conference is not as strong as it was a couple of years ago, but Gonzaga is still bearing the flag for the whole lot of them. Will anyone get in besides Gonzaga? Let’s take a look!
A big win is a win against a RPI top 50 team. A bad loss is a loss to a team under 100 in the RPI. RPI rankings are in parenthesis.
Gonzaga (32-2, 17-1 WCC, RPI: 8, SOS: 74)
Big Wins: vs. (14)SMU 72-56, vs. (36)Georgia 88-76, at (40)St. John’s 73-66, at (35)BYU 78-62, vs. (35)BYU 91-75
Bad Losses: NONE
The Bulldogs’ only losses were an overtime affair to Arizona in December, and a home loss to BYU at the end of February. That’s it. As if they needed more to add to their slate, they also beat UCLA on the road in December.
They are a well coached team, and they score a lot of points. 79.1 per game to be exact, which is good for tenth in the nation. They are also the best shooting team in the country. They shoot an impressive 52.4% from the floor. Everyone on the team has range. They pass well (8th in assists), they rebound well (31st), and we mentioned the shooting. How much of a that is a product of their schedule? Well, they have proven that they can hang with good teams (Arizona), and even beat some (SMU, Georgia), so I’m going to say not much.
It is widely believed that Gonzaga was assured a two seed since the won the WCC tournament. Iowa State is the only one that might be able to make a legitimate claim to it since they won the Big 12 tournament, but I still don’t think it’s likely. Geography has to play in to this somehow.
Projected seed: 2
Next: Has BYU Done Enough To Get In?
Feb 28, 2015; Spokane, WA, USA; Brigham Young Cougars guard Tyler Haws (3) celebrates with Brigham Young Cougars assistant coach Mark Pope (L) after their game against the Gonzaga Bulldogs at McCarthey Athletic Center. The Cougars won 73-70. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
BYU (25-9, 13-5 WCC, RPI: 35, SOS: 72)
Big Wins: at (8)Gonzaga 73-70
Bad Losses: vs. (137)Pepperdine 61-67, at (160) San Diego 74-77, at (137)Pepperdine 74-80
Three bad losses to only one win is going to be tough to overcome. That said, they beat Stanford and UMass, both of whom are in the RPI top 75. They narrowly lost to San Diego State and Purdue in overtime. They also kept it close against Utah.
The Cougars are runners. They are second in the nation in scoring at 83.6 points per game. They are a good passing team and rebound well, and they are decent shooters. Tyler Haws is the best scorer they have had since Jimmer Fredette. He averaged 22 points per game, and can hit from almost anywhere. Kyle Collinsworth can do a little of everything. He averaged 14 points per game, and led the team with 8.7 rebounds per game and 5.8 assists per game from his off guard spot.
The win over Gonzaga is likely enough to get them in. Their RPI is better than most bubble teams, so they shouldn’t have much to worry about.
Projected seed: 10
Next: What About St. Mary's?
St. Mary’s (21-9, 13-5 WCC, RPI: 69, SOS: 100)
Big Wins: vs. (35)BYU 82-77
Bad Losses: vs. (168)Northern Arizona 71-73, vs. (137)Pepperdine 62-67, at (206)Santa Clara 70-71, vs. (152)Portland 52-69
The loss to Portland in the WCC tourney ended the season in a disaster. They lost the last two games to teams with an RPI under 150. That will likely keep them out. Their RPI is not nearly good enough for an at-large from a mid-major conference.
Tomorrow we will run down the Pac 12 and SEC teams, then introduce you to the one-bid conference schools. Then our 11th hour mock-seeding, so stay tuned!
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