There was no drama for St. Mary’s on Selection Sunday, as the Gaels already knew they were a lock for the NCAA Tournament after sewing up the West Coast Conference’s automatic bid.
The only mystery was who the Moraga-based school would match up with.
The Gaels (27-5), one of three WCC teams to make the tournament, picked up the No. 7 seed in the Midwest Region and will play No. 10 Purdue (25-8) on Friday in Louisville, Ky.
St. Mary’s, the regular-season and conference tournament champion, slumped toward the end of the season, but regained its form in the final few games. The Gaels rely on sound defense, outstanding passing, 3-point shooting and guard Matthew Dellavedova.
Dellavedova, the king of the Tony Parker-like tear drop, is the key player and the one who holds the team together.
When he controls the game, the Gaels usually win. When opponents are able to keep him under control, the Gaels struggle.
St. Mary’s also struggled against elite teams with athletic players, as demonstrated in the losses to Baylor and Murray State.
The Gaels’ best wins were against Gonzaga (twice) and BYU (twice), and the team had no bad losses.
No. 7 St. Mary’s vs. No. 10 Purdue
When: Friday, 4:27 p.m.
Where: CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Neb.
What’s next: Winner plays either second-seeded Kansas or 15th-seeded Detroit on Sunday in the Midwest Regional