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Key match-ups loom on the hardwood this week

Jan. 24, 2012

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SAN BRUNO, Calif. -- Saint Mary's takes its unblemished 8-0 WCC mark on the road Thursday, as the Gaels visit LMU. The Lions, at 5-2, sit 2.5 games behind Saint Mary's in the WCC standings. Also on Thursday, Portland hosts Gonzaga in a game televised nationally on ESPN2.

WCC QUICK HITS

  • Saint Mary's, off to an 8-0 start in WCC play, is ranked No. 20 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll this week. The Gaels visit LMU Thursday and BYU on Saturday (ESPNU).

  • In this week's RPI Report from the NCAA, Gonzaga ranks 16th nationally among 344 Division I schools. Saint Mary's is No. 31, and BYU is ranked 56th. The RPI is an important factor in helping select at-large bids for the 68-team NCAA Tournament in March.

  • With Monday night's win at Santa Clara, Loyola Marymount is 5-0 on the road in the WCC. The last time LMU experienced this much road success was during its unbeaten 1988 season (14-0).

  • Only eight Division I teams have won at least 25 games in each of the last four seasons. Three of those teams (BYU, Gonzaga, Saint Mary's) call the West Coast Conference home.

  • The WCC has a 71-44 (.617) non-conference record this season entering Wednesday night's BYU at Virginia Tech game. In 2010-11, the WCC non-conference winning percentage was .554.

  • LMU sophomore Anthony Ireland is the WCC Player of the Week for January 23. Ireland scored 27 in a win at BYU last week, and is the conference's leading scorer in WCC play.

  • Seven members of the 2011 All-WCC Team were named to this year's Preseason All-West Coast Conference Team.

  • The WCC's weekly web video show, "The Road to Las Vegas," returns to WCCsports.com on Wednesday. This week, viewers learn how they can win all-session passes to this year's tournament in Las Vegas, complete with hotel stay. Also, Stephen Holt and Rob Jones of Saint Mary's chat about their team's success.

  • Also on January 25, WCC Live, the popular Internet talk show returns. This week's guests include Loyola Marymount head coach Max Good, San Diego's Johnny Dee, and Saint Mary's radio broadcaster Mike Bouve.

    View the PDF above for complete team-by-team notes.