Larry Ness' 10* PERFECT STORM (28-15 s/Jan 1): Larry's 30-12-1 with all BKB releases the last 14 days, including 24-8 the last 11 days. This 28-year vet is 33-15 with all CBB reports in Feb & going back to Jan 1, he's 28-15 with top-rated 10*s. Larry's got a jam-packed Saturday but those looking for a late-night winner, won't want to miss this 10* PERFECT STORM!
Game: St. Marys at San Francisco Feb 25 2012 11:00PM
Prediction: San Francisco
Grade: Loser (-110)
Reason: My 10* PERFECT STORM is on San Francisco at 11:00 ET.
There is plenty on the line tonight at venerable War Memorial Gym in San Francisco. The St Mary’s Gaels (still No., 23 in the coaches’ poll but out of the AP poll after back-to-back losses to Loyola-Marymount and Murray St) are already assured a share of the West Coast Conference title but with a win, they could end Gonzaga’s streak of 11 straight conference titles (2nd-longest in NCAA history). However, if the Gaels lose and Gonzaga wins at San Diego (12-16 / 7-8 in the WCC), the Bulldogs and Gaels will share the regular season title (like last year). Saint Mary’s is seeking its first outright regular season championship of the WCC since 1989 and the good news is the Gaels have won 12 in a row over the Dons. The bad news is the Dons have won EIGHT of their last 11 games, including an upset of Gonzaga last Saturday in this venue (lost just 86-85 a week ago Thursday at this site, to BYU). This is San Francisco’s third straight “major” home game (BYU, Gonzaga and now, St Mary’s) and the team is well-rested, having not played since beating Gonzaga last Saturday. The Dons finished 10-4 in the WCC last year, just one game behind co-champs Gonzaga and St Mary’s (11-3). San Francisco ended its season 19-15 overall, after winning twice in the CIT. This year’s team is currently 18-11, including a somewhat disappointing 8-7 in the WCC. San Francisco owns a quality starting-five with the 6-8 Caloiaro (14.8-6.1) and the 6-9 Blackwell (12.7-6.1) up front plus a trio of guards in Green (11.8-5.3), Williams (10.8) and Doolin (8.5-3.0-3.7). The top reserves are the 6-7 Dickerson (6.7-3.8) and guard O’Connor (6.0). McConnell (16.4-6.1 APG) is gone from LY's St Mary's team but his backcourt partner, Dellavedova (15.4-3.3-6.5 APG) returns, and has made quick adjustments from his off-guard to point guard responsibilities. He's joined in TY's backcourt by sophomores Holt (10.4-4.7-3.3) and Page (7.9). The frontcourt has excellent depth. The 6-6 Jones (14.8-10.6) is second in in scoring and leads in rebounding, joined by 6-9 freshman Waldow (7.8-4.1), the 6-7 Steindl (7.3-2.7) and the 6-9 Walker (4.1-3.4). More bad news comes St Mary’s way in that guard Stephen Holt has missed two consecutive games with a sprained knee and he won’t be active for this game (Gaels are hoping Holt will be available for the WCC tourney). These teams met back on Jan 9 in Moraga with the Gaels winning 87-72 by shooting a blistering 67.3% from the floor, including 11-of-19 on threes. Think that can happen again, here? I sure don’t, as the Gaels ‘limp’ into this game having lost THREE of their last five games, beating only 8-20 Santa Clara (0-15 in the WCC) and 6-22 Portland (3-12 in the WCC). San Francisco has gone 8-3 SU and a near-perfect 10-1 ATS since the last time these teams met and let me turn to head coach Rex Walters for some perspective, who is eager for his team to break into the WCC upper echelon. “I'm tired of Saint Mary’s, and I’m tired of Gonzaga, and I’m tired of BYU,” Walters said. This is the final home game for three San Francisco seniors, Angelo Caloiaro, Rashad Green, and Jay Wey and I’m betting they go out as winners, in this “perfect storm” setting! Note: Gonzaga plays at San Diego in a 4:00 Pacific start. St Mary’s will know the result of that game by the time it takes the court. If the Bulldogs lose (they opened 11 1/2-point favorites), St Mary’s will have clinched the regular season title and will have little to play for. That would be a great situation for San Fran, so take the points right now. If the ‘Zags win, meaning the Gaels need to win, it will be a tougher task for the Dons but I still think the Gaels will ‘gag’ under pressure.