Saint Mary's hammered Loyola Marymount, 83-62, on Feb. 8. It was their 19th win a row, a streak that included a road win over Gonzaga and a bunch of blowouts. Less than the two weeks later, the Gaels are quickly approaching the NCAA Tournament bubble.
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Saint Mary's remained a 6-seed in the 10th edition of HERO Sports Bracketology on Feb. 12 despite a home loss to Gonzaga two days earlier. Then they fell to San Francisco on Feb. 15, their second résumé-staining defeat of the season (vs. Washington State on Nov. 24), which sent them tumbling to a 10-seed in the 11th edition of Bracketology, their lowest seed since missing the projected field entirely in early January.
The Gaels are tied with Gonzaga for the second-most wins in the country (25-4), are 14-2 in the WCC and have lost two games since November. They are not, however, an NCAA Tournament lock.
Entering Tuesday's games, they have a bubble-worthy résumé that may not improve much, if at all. They have only three total Quadrant 1 and 2 wins on their NCAA Team Sheet, along with two Quadrant 3 losses:
The Gaels' remaining two regular-season games are Quadrant 4 home games against Pedderdine (325) and Santa Clara (245), which will only lower their RPI. If they play Gonzaga in the WCC Championship, they need to pray the Bulldogs are still an RPI top-50 team at the time, which would give them a second Quadrant 1 win.
If Gonzaga falls outside the RPI top 50, a win carries less weight but a loss would be especially painful, because Saint Mary's — even if they beat RPI top-100 team BYU in the WCC tourney — would be just 4-3 in Q1 and Q2 games.
That's good enough for strong NCAA Tournament consideration but not good enough to stay off the bubble, where'd they compete against teams with six, seven or eight Q1 and Q2 victories.