(Third attempt at posting this, first two thwarted by miserable hotel wireless….)
Good morning from rainy San Diego. The game is drawing widespread attention, including four stories alone in the San Diego Union-Tribune and the arrival of CBSsports.com's Gary Parrish, Foxsports.com's Jeff Goodman, Sportingnews.com's Mike DeCourcy and ESPN.com's Andy Katz in town.
Oh wait, that's the San Diego State-BYU game, which tips at 11 a.m. (yikes). Gonzaga-San Diego might get some added attention, if only because it tips at 6, long after the Mountain West showdown is over.
A Gonzaga win or Saint Mary's loss to Portland would clinch GU's 11th consecutive WCC crown. Here's my game preview.
This is a huge mismatch on paper. Of 17 NCAA statistical categories ranking 336 D-I teams, San Diego ranks in the upper half (top 168) in just one: 3-point percentage defense (33.4). Gonzaga is in the upper half in 13 of 17. The exceptions: 3-point percentage defense, No. 284 (36.7), turnovers per game, No. 190 (13.8), 3-pointers made per game, No. 190 (6), and personal fouls, No. 182 (19).
But the Jenny Craig Pavilion has never been an easy place to play for the Zags, much like Santa Clara's Leavey Center. GU has won three of its last four here (including a loss to USD in the 2008 WCC Tournament title game), but the Zags scored just 59, 62, 58 and 68 points in those four games.