Looking to strengthen their grip on the WCC, No. 11 Saint Mary’s (24-2, 13-0 WCC) puts it 19-game winning streak on the line Saturday night against No. 12 Gonzaga (22-4, 12-1). There are a handful of Top 25 matchups around the country on Saturday’s slate, but this could easily be argued as the best of the bunch.
Tip is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET, and the game will be broadcast on ESPN 2. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch the game live on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for a free trial of one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
DirecTV Now: There are four different channel packages, and ESPN 2 is included in all of them. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, plus you can get a free Amazon Fire TV if you prepay two months.
Once signed up, you can watch on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.
Sling TV: ESPN 2 is included in the “Sling Orange” bundle. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and you can then watch on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app
Note: Once you’ve signed up for one of the above services, you can also watch ESPN 2 via WatchESPN.com on your computer, or via the WatchESPN app on your phone, tablet or streaming device. When asked to verify your cable provider, you’ll just use your DirecTV Now or Sling TV credentials to sign in.
Saint Mary’s hasn’t taken a WCC regular season title from Gonzaga since 2012, but a win at home on Saturday night all but guarantees that streak coming to an end. That’s because the Gaels already accomplished one of the most difficult feats in college basketball, going into Spokane and upsetting the Zags, 74-71.
In that January 18 battle, Jock Landale put up 26 points and 12 rebounds, while the Gaels shot a blistering 56.6 percent from the field and 61.5 percent from 3-point range. Both of those things have been trends all season, as Landale has played at a National Player of the Year level, while Saint Mary’s is first in the country in effective field-goal percentage, fifth in three-point percentage and third in Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted offensive efficiency.
Gonzaga has responded well since that loss, reeling off six straight wins to set up Saturday night’s massive battle. Not only would a win even them with Saint Mary’s atop the WCC, but it would be important for their NCAA tournament resume, as they’re currently projected as a No. 6 seed.
As for Saint Mary’s, they’ve continued to roll since that January victory over the Zags, though they have had a few hiccups along the way, beating both Pacific and San Diego by only three points. Still, both of those came on the road, and their six WCC home wins this season have come by an average margin of 19.8 points. Beating the Gaels in Moraga is extremely difficult.
The oddsmakers are favoring Saint Mary’s by 2.5 points.