Kelly Olynyk and the Gonzaga Bulldogs took awhile to get started in the WCC Conference semis against Loyola-Marymount. They figured to come out stronger against Saint Mary's in the finals. They did all that and more Monday night in Las Vegas. The Zags (31-2) won the tourney championship and secured a number one seed in the Big Dance. Gonzaga 65, Saint Mary's 51.
Olynyk, recently named to the Wooden Award watchlist, dominated the smaller Gaels inside. Repeatedly he, along with forward Elias Harris, sliced open the Saint Mary's interior like master butchers with a prime rib. Olynyk finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds on the night. Harris scored 19 and had four caroms.
Saint Mary's star point guard Matthew Dellavedova had his second off night shooting in a row. After going 2/12 from the field against Santa Clara Saturday night (albeit with 12 assists), Dellvedova was one for eight from the field on Monday. He finished with seven assists. The Gaels (27-6) were led by Stephen Holt who scored 19 to go along with seven rebounds.
Six days of waiting now for these two teams. The only question for Gonzaga is will they get the top number one seed in the NCAA Tournament. They are assured of a protected draw in a nearby regional. Salt Lake City would be a good bet. For Saint Mary's the wait will be a little more on edge. They had a good year and, by most analysis, will get their shot with a dance card. Stranger things, though, have happened.