SAN BRUNO, Calif. -- The Saint Mary's men's basketball team will launch the defense of its back-to-back West Coast Conference regular-season championships on January 5 when the Gaels host Loyola Marymount in McKeon Pavilion.
The league office announced a nine-week conference schedule today that will culminate on March 2 with a contest featuring long-time Bay Area rivals Santa Clara at Saint Mary's in reigning WCC Player of the Year Matthew Dellavedova's final home game.
Last season, for the first time ever, five WCC teams won 20 or more games and earned postseason berths - including three in the NCAA Tournament. The league also claims an impressive three of the five Division I teams that have won at least 25 games in each of the last five seasons: BYU, Gonzaga, and Saint Mary's (along with Duke and Kansas).
In 2012, Saint Mary's captured its second-straight regular-season title and first outright since 1989. The Gaels' league opener will have a bit of added suspense, however, since Loyola Marymount was the only team to win in Moraga last season.
A rematch of last season's WCC Championship game pits Saint Mary's at Gonzaga on the season's second week (Jan. 10), then again at McKeon Pavilion on Valentine's Day (Feb. 14).
The 2013 West Coast Conference Basketball Championships will take place from March 6-11 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
As part of their long-term partnership, the WCC and ESPN are finalizing national television selections for the coming season. Fans can expect an announcement regarding the full slate of WCC-ESPN telecasts in the coming month.
Season tickets to Saint Mary's men and women's basketball games are currently on sale through the Gaels' Athletic Ticket Office by visiting SMCGaels.com or calling (925) 631-GoTx (4689).