No. 20 Saint Mary's does not want to jeopardize its chances of getting an NCAA tournament berth, and Santa Clara wants to achieve its highest West Coast Conference finish in 10 years.
That is what is at stake when the Gaels host Santa Clara Saturday night in the final regular-season game for both teams.
Saint Mary's (25-3, 15-2 WCC) will finish second in the conference no matter what happens Saturday. But a loss to the Broncos (16-14, 10-7) might make the Gaels a little nervous about their postseason status. With a current RPI ranking of 16, and no bad losses, Saint Mary's would seem to be safely into the NCAA tournament regardless of the result Saturday and in next week's WCC tournament in Las Vegas.