Seventh-seeded Saint Mary’s finished a historical season for its men’s basketball program Saturday in Salt Lake City as the 2017 Wooden Legacy participant Gaels dropped a 69-60 decision to second-seeded Arizona in the NCAA Tournament’s West Regional.
The Gaels (29-5) of the West Coast Conference ended the campaign with the highest win percentage (85.3), and tied the single-season most wins in program history as Coach Randy Bennett concluded his 16th season at Saint Mary’s. Three of Saint Mary’s five losses were to league rivals Gonzaga with the other setback to Sun Belt Conference regular-season champion Texas Arlington.
Junior center Jock Landale collected his 17th double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds for Saint Mary’s. Junior forward Calvin Hermanson compiled 14 points in while freshman guard Tanner Krebs scored 12 points off the bench.
With the win, Arizona (32-4) advances to the West Regional “Sweet 16” in San Jose, Calif., where the Wildcats will play 11th-seeded Xavier (23-13) Thursday. The other West Region game will pit top-seeded Gonzaga (34-1) against fourth-seeded West Virginia (28-8).
In the first Salt Lake City game Saturday, Gonzaga posted a 79-73 win over Northwestern. West Virginia ousted Notre Dame 83-71 in Buffalo Saturday before Xavier upset Florida State 91-66 in Orlando.
The 2017 Wooden Legacy will be played at two sites in southern California November 23, 24, and 26. Cal State Fullerton will host the first two days of the 2017 Wooden Legacy on its campus at Titan Gym November 23 and 24. The placement games will be played November 26 at Honda Center in Anaheim.
Other schools in the 2017 Wooden Legacy are Cal State Fullerton (Big West, 17-15), DePaul (Big East, 9-23), Georgia (Southeastern, 19-15), Harvard (Ivy League, 18-10), Saint Joseph’s (Atlantic 10, 11-20), San Diego State (Mountain West, 19-14) and Washington State (Pac-12 Conference, 13-18).