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Three WCC Teams Listed In Dickie V's Preseason Top 40

Sept. 8, 2008

Complete Dick Vitale Preseason Top 40 List

SAN BRUNO, Calif. - With the official start of practice just six weeks away, three West Coast Conference teams are listed in Dick Vitale's Preseason Top 40. Gonzaga, Saint Mary's, and San Diego are listed among the best in the nation by the Basketball Hall of Fame icon.

The WCC boasts three of the eight teams from non-BCS conferences in Dickie V's preseason list. The three selections are the most from any non-BCS conference in the country.

Gonzaga is the only school from a non-BCS conference to be ranked in Vitale's preseason top 10, checking in at No. 8. Saint Mary's, which spent the majority of last season ranked in the top 25, is listed at No. 33, while San Diego, which pulled off arguably the most thrilling upset of last year's tournament, is ranked No. 39.

The three WCC schools welcome back a wealth of talent as they return a combined 12-of-15 starters, including two All-WCC first team members each. Highlighting the list of returners, is Gonzaga's Jeremy Pargo, the reigning WCC Player of the Year, Saint Mary's Patrick Mills, who starred for the Australian Olympic team this summer, and San Diego's Brandon Johnson, the 2008 WCC Tournament MVP.

All three teams are poised for another run at the NCAA Tournament in 2008-09. Gonzaga returns 77.2 percent of its scoring and 72 percent of its rebounding. Saint Mary's welcomes back 80.1 percent of its scoring from last season and 89.0 percent of its rebounding. Meanwhile, the Toreros bring back a whopping 96.2 percent of its scoring and an identical 96.2 percent of its rebounding.

With Three teams advancing to last year's NCAA Tournament, the WCC had the fifth highest percentage (38%) of teams selected to the Big Dance in the country. Only the Pac-10 (60%), Big 12 (50%), Big East (50%), and the SEC (50%) had a higher percentage. The WCC had a higher percentage of its teams selected to the NCAA Tournament than the ACC (33%), the A-10 (21%), the Big Ten (36%), C-USA (8%), the Missouri Valley (10%), and the MWC (22%).

PERCENTAGE OF 2008 NCAA TOURNAMENT TEAMS BY CONFERENCE TOP 10
RANK CONFERENCE
PERCENTAGE
No. 1 60 Percent
T-No. 2 50 Percent
T-No. 2 50 Percent
T-No. 2 50 Percent
NO. 5 38 PERCENT
NO. 6 36 Percent
No. 7 33 Percent
No. 8 22 Percent
No. 9 21 Percent
No. 10 15 Percent