Despite a 26-6 record and one of the nation's most exciting players in point guard Patty Mills, Saint Mary's was denied an at-large spot in the NCAA tournament Sunday.
The selection committee's verdict disappointed a lively
gathering of fans at the small Jesuit school in the hills east of
San Francisco Bay.
Coach Randy Bennett feels Saint Mary's did everything in its
power to get back to the NCAA tournament. The biggest factor
keeping the Gaels out of the 65-team field probably was the injury
nobody could control.
Bennett felt his team, which is built around his Australian
point guard and talented big men Diamon Simpson and Omar Samhan,
was easily tournament-worthy with its full, healthy lineup. But
Mills broke two bones in his hand during a loss to Gonzaga on Jan.
29, and the Gaels lost four of five games without him before
rallying for a five-game winning streak heading into the WCC